Gilas rampages to 3rd win
Olmin Leyba (The Philippine Star) - December 8, 2019 - 12:00am

MANILA, Philippines — Nothing earthshaking, just Gilas Pilipinas performing a routine execution of a lightweight opponent and sweeping its way to the Southeast Asian Games semifinals.

Doing just enough against a winless opponent who previously lost by 79 and 40-pointers, the powerhouse Filipinos stamped their class on Myanmar, 136-67, to post a perfect 3-0 after the SEAG cage elims last night at the MOA Arena.

As the No. 1 team in Group A, the rampaging hosts will next face the No. 2 squad in Group B, Indonesia, which sealed its semis seat with a 100-71 shellacking of Cambodia.

Matthew Wright waxed hot with 29 points spiked by eight triples while Vic Manuel tallied 24 points, 11 rebounds and five assists for the Filipinos, who pounded on the Burmese with June Mar Fajardo and Stanley Pringle sitting on the bench the entire time.

Troy Rosario (16), Marcio Lassiter (15, all from beyond the arc), Kiefer Ravena (15), Japeth Aguilar (12) and Greg Slaughter (10-10) also delivered offensively for the near flawless Gilas which committed only one turnover all night.

“We were trying to find a balance between playing the game hard and respecting the game and just not trying to run up the score and embarrass anybody,” said coach Tim Cone.

Myanmar, which once lost to Gilas by 104 points in a SEABA meet, was able stay within six points off the heavily favored Pinoys until early in the second quarter.

The Gilas war machine though started to get going, with Marcio Lassiter’s snipings sparking a telling run that made it a 25-point contest en route to a commanding 77-36 tear at intermission.

Meanwhile, Gilas women shoots for its second straight win today but expects to have its hands full ranged against defending champion Malaysia.

“We need to play perfectly against the defending champions,” said coach Pat Aquino, whose charges opened their bid with a 63-56 win over Indonesia.

The Filipinas and their Malaysian rivals clash at 6 p.m.

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