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Gilas overpowers Vietnam, gains outright semis



GILAS Pilipinas used a big second half to beat Vietnam, 110-69, and claim an outright semifinal berth in basketball action of the 30th Southeast Asian Games Friday night at the Mall of Asia Arena.

June Mar Fajardo, the reigning five-time Most Valuable Player in the PBA, finished with 23 points – 12 of which came in the third frame when he led the team’s attack to seize control of the game.

Coach Tim Cone in his first training with Gilas Pilipinas Monday night at the Meralco gym in Pasig City. (Rio Deluvio)

Coach Tim Cone with Gilas Pilipinas.  (Rio Deluvio)

From a 52-40 halftime lead, the national team used a 10-0 run capped by a layup from Troy Rosario that gave the Philippines a 62-40 advantage with 7:42 left in the third period.

The Vietnamese never recovered from that onslaught and the National continued to pile up points.

“We expect ourselves to wear down teams. We are 12-man deep, with our depth, and with our talent we can wear down teams. But we just have to be patient,” said national team coach Tim Cone.

“We kinda underestimated Vietnam. When you start to think that games will be easy, it’s going to be harder. We came out in the second half the way we want to start in the first half.  That kind of keyed us in with the rhythm that we want,” added Cone.

The national team’s win improved its record to 2-0 in Group A while Vietnam suffered its first defeat after winning its first two to finish the elimination round with a 2-1 card.

The Nationals were playing against Myanmar at presstime.

The 6-foot-10 Fajardo also got 12 rebounds as the national team controlled the rebounding department 69-30. LA Tenorio and Vic Manuel finished with 14 points apiece, while Troy Rosario added 12 points and Stanley Pringle contributed 11 points.

The scores:

GILAS PILIPINAS 110 – Fajardo 23, Tenorio 14, Manuel 14, Rosario 12, Pringle 11, Slaughter 10, Wright 7, Lassiter 6, Aguilar 6, Standhardinger 1, Ross 1.

VIETNAM 61 – Dierker 28, Young 13, Tran 7, Le 6, Dinh 5, Nguyen H. 4, Dinh 3, Vo 2, Du 1, Nguyen T. 0.

Quarters: 27-19; 52-40; 80-57; 110-69.