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Gilas cruises past Vietnam, disputes SEABA title vs Indonesia

Gilas Pilipinas' Matthew Wright scores over a Vietnamese defender during the 2017 SEABA Championship's Day 6 of action. | PBA Media Bureau

MANILA, Philippines — Even without Andray Blatche, Gilas Pilipinas beat Vietnam 107-52, to extend their unscathed run in the 2017 Southeast Asian Basketball Association, Wednesday night at the Smart-Araneta Coliseum.

Matthew Wright’s hot shooting took centerstage this time. He hit three triples in successive fashion in the third period to put the host out of the Vietlnamese’s striking range.

Wright finished the game with 19 markers, two boards and a dime.

“Obviously, it's a competition and the essence of sport is you can never be sure. That's why we keep harping on the fact that we shouldn't take anything for granted, and we'd like to think everything we've done at this point is to get us ready for this game tomorrow,” head coach Chot Reyes said of his team’s performance.

Calvin Abueva, who currently holds the second spot in the tourney’s top scorers, wounded up with 16 points—his fourth double-digit production in five outings. His best game came in the opening night rout of the Burmese, where he scored 22.

Troy Rosario chipped in 12 more for the hosts as Jiovani Jalalon tallied 10 from the bench.

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“From the start, we knew Indonesia is going to be the toughest opponent, so we can only find ourselves here. They're getting ready as well and they're raring to go as well. They have a couple of guys who are very, very fresh,” noted Reyes.

Naturalized big man Blatche did not play the game, and it was in an effort to keep him in tip-top shape, according to Reyes.

Thanh Nguyen led the visitors with 11 markers. His compatriot Van Nguyen, who was posting solid scoring and rebounding numbers prior to the match ended up with just nine points and five rebounds.

Vietnam drops to 1-4 in the tournament. They will seek to capture their second victory against Singapore on Wednesday’s action.

Philippines, on the other hand, will dispute the top spot with Indonesia, who are finally fielding 11 players after Jamarr Johnson and Arki Winsu’s FIBA clearance.

Gilas and the visitors will lock horns 7 p.m., in the Big Dome.

The scores

PHILIPPINES 107 - Wright 19, Abueva 16, Almazan 16, Rosario 12, Jalalon 10, Malicsi 8, Pogoy 7, Castro William 7, Aguilar 5, Romeo 4, Fajardo 3

VIETNAM 52 - Nguyen T 11, Nguyen V 9, Trieu 9, Le N 8, Tran 7, Le P 4, Nguyen H 2, Dang 2, To 0

Quarterscores: 28-16, 53-29, 89-40, 107-52

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