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Gilas survives Thailand in SEA Games opener

Philstar.com
Gilas survives Thailand in SEA Games opener
June Mar Fajardo stood tall for Gilas with a double-double of 28 points and 12 rebounds.
PSC photos

MANILA, Philippines – The Gilas Pilipinas men’s basketball team avoided a late meltdown as it escaped with a 76-73 win over Thailand to begin their title defense in the 31st Southeast Asian Games in Hanoi, Vietnam on Monday.

The Filipinos were comfortably ahead in the last three minutes, 73-63, but allowed Thailand to threaten a comeback. They struggled for three points the rest of the way.

Thai sniper Nakorn Jaisanuk missed a potential game-tying triple at the buzzer that enabled Gilas to escape with the victory.

The Nationals had a rocky start, trailing by as many as 10 points in the opening quarter before regaining control in the second half.

June Mar Fajardo was a huge force or Gilas with a game-high 28 points on 12-of-15 shooting, which he spiked with 12 rebounds and two blocks.

Thirdy Ravena likewise had a stellar outing with 17 points and six boards for the Philippines, which is eyeing its 12 straight basketball gold medal in the biennial meet.

Gilas will look to improve on their performance in their next game at 6 p.m. Tuesday against Cambodia.

GILAS

JUNE MAR FAJARDO

SEA GAMES

THIRDY RAVENA

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