Gilasâ gift to nation â cage domination
The Gilas women whoop it up after the historic win.
Kj Rosales
Gilas’ gift to nation – cage domination
Olmin Leyba (The Philippine Star) - December 10, 2019 - 12:00am

MANILA, Philippines — Basketball-crazy Philippines was picking gold medals right and left in the 30th Southeast Asian Games, and it’s just fitting that Gilas Pilipinas joined the massive gold rush.

Powerhouse Gilas brought out the big guns and disposed of challenger Thailand, 115-81, to repeat as King of Hoops and complement the golden feats of its brothers- and sisters -in-arms on other fronts.

Coach Tim Cone and his charges gave the Philippines its 13th consecutive hoops crown and 18th overall since 1977, delighting a 12,502-strong crowd at the MOA Arena, who expected nothing less from their celebrated hardcourt idols.

June Mar Fajardo (17 points, 13 rebounds), LA Tenorio (16 all on three-pointers), Christian Standhardinger (16-11), Matthew Wright (14 on four triples), Vic Manuel (14), Stanley Pringle (13) and Kiefer Ravena (10) turned in double-digit outputs as the Philippines barrelled its way to yet another victory celebration and a complete sweep of the four golds staked in the 5x5 and 3x3 events.

“The chemistry in this team is great. The guys really looked for one another. No one wanted to be the star and tried to outshine his teammates. They really worked together and were so unselfish, that’s what I liked most about this team,” said Cone of this special bunch who helped him secure his first gold medal ever.

After seemingly feeling out the opposition in the first 20 minutes, the Nationals turned on the accelerator and zoomed well ahead of their Thai rivals who couldn’t keep up with their blistering pace.

Fajardo and Wright sparked a 10-0 bomb coming out of intermission, setting the tone for a monstrous 40-15 scoring exchange that pushed them to an unassailable 88-54 tear going to the payoff period.

The Filipinos rifled in six triples in the game-changing third, with Wright accounting for three, Chris Ross draining two and Marcio Lassiter making one.


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