Kobe Paras, scoring on an easy left-handed layup, provides the spark and thrill with his rim-rattling jams that highlighted the Philippines’ 39-point title romp over Indonesia.JUN MENDOZA

One Gold, One Nation
Nelson Beltran (The Philippine Star) - August 26, 2017 - 4:00pm

Gilas Reigns, Routs Indonesia

KUALA LUMPUR – Soaring in mid-air, Kobe Paras caught an alley-oop pass and jammed in a shattering dunk that somehow brought in all the exuberance and passion by the Filipinos for the game, serving as highlight in Gilas Pilipinas’ 94-55 gold medal win over Indonesia.

Denied of a first slam, the 6-foot-6 Paras reprised the same jam that electrified the crowd and surely ignited bursts of joy all over the country as the defending champions romped off with the most treasured crown for the Filipinos’ 12th straight championship in the SEA Games.

The Nationals methodically pulled away in the second quarter and stayed unrelenting through the final half, breezing to the 39-point triumph that capped the country’s domination of the biennial meet.

Mike Tolomia sizzled with five triples and a game-high total of 20 points, Paras dazzled the crowd with energetic plays and fired 14 markers while Raymar Jose collected 12 markers just in 12 minutes of action as the Philippines again swept its way to the championship in this regional conclave.

Team Phl hasn’t dropped a game in the SEAG since Romel Adducul and his teammates lost one match before wrapping up the crown in Jakarta in 1997.

A day after a scary struggle versus Singapore in the semifinals, the Nationals played up to their potential and blasted an Indon side coming off a stirring 79-74 conquest of Thailand in the semifinals.

“This is the best game we played in the tourney. We hit our shots and luckily it happened in the gold-medal game,” said Gilas coach Jong Uichico.

“Nobody wanted to lose, and it helped that coach Chot Reyes was there,” said Uichico, helped out in the final match by the Gilas program chief who flew in Friday following their FIBA Asia Cup stint in Lebanon.

The Filipinos scored a sweet sweep, with earlier triumphs over Thailand (81-74), Myanmar (129-34) and Malaysia (98-66) in the elims and over Singapore (68-60) in the semis.

Indonesia engaged the Philippines in a battle in the opening quarter before Tolomia and Christian Standhardinger sparked a run that had the Nationals zooming to a 45-27 spread at the half.

Paras, Jose, Kiefer Ravena and Troy Rosario joined the splurge in the third, and Gilas took the fight out of the Indons with a quarter left in the contest.

Sensing it’s over, Indon coach Wahyu Widayat Jati pulled out his core players one by one with over five minutes left to play.

In the course of putting the finishing touches in the win, Paras showcased highlight slams that sent the Filipino crowd on their feet.

Ravena made history as the first Filipino cager to win four SEAG gold medals.

Rosario, Kevin Ferrer and Von Pessumal scored second straight SEAG championship while Uichico also bagged his second after steering Team Phl to a title run in the 2013 Games in Naypyidaw. It’s also a second one for Bobby Ray Parks after his stint in the 2011 Jakarta Games.

“It feels nice winning both. But this is a little special as we win it with a young group of players,” said Uichico.

The scores:

Philippines 94 – Tolomia 20, Paras 14, Jose 12, Standhardinger 11, Rosario 8, Ravena 7, Cruz 6, Pessumal 5, Ferrer 5, Amer 4, Parks 2, Vosotros 0.

Indonesia 55 – Pratama 10, Kurniawan 10, Wisnu 6, Enguio 5, Kisasih 4, Nugroho 4, Sitepu 4, Dhyaksa 4, Grahita 2, Sitorus 2, Lakudu 2, Wuysang 2.

Quarterscores: 19-15, 45-27, 67-38, 94-55

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