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Gilas dumps Indonesia, faces Thailand in gold medal match

BY WAYLON GALVEZ

Games Tuesday

(Mall of Asia Arena)

3:45 p.m. – Vietnam vs Indonesia (M/Bronze)

6p.m. –Philippines vs Thailand (W/Gold)

8:15 p.m. – Philippines vs Thailand (M/Gold)

Gilas Pilipinas used a big third quarter show to down Indonesia, 97-70, and move within a win in retaining its title in the 30th Southeast Asian (SEA) Games Monday night at the Mall of Asia Arena.

 Known to be a defensive specialist, Chris Ross came through big on offense, knocking in back-to-back three-point shots in the third quarter that sparked the national team’s decisive breakaway.

Protecting a 39-28 lead at halftime break, the all-PBA national team outscored Indonesia, 39-17, giving them a comfortable 78-45 advantage going to the final quarter.

Philippines thanks fans during the SEA Games Basketball against Indonesia at Mall of Asia Arena in Pasay, December 9, 2019. (Rio Leonelle Deluvio / Canon 1DX Mark II with 400mm f2.8 lens)

Philippines thanks fans after beating Indonesia.  (Rio Leonelle Deluvio / Canon 1DX Mark II with 400mm f2.8 lens)

 Ross finished with 11 points, six assists and five rebounds, Christian Standhardinger had 14 points, Matthew Wright 13 points, and Vic Manuel 12 points in another well-balanced attack.

June Mar Fajardo, the reigning five-time PBA Most Valuable Player, had nine points and the same number of rebounds.

The Philippines’ win arranged a gold medal match against Thailand, which won against Vietnam, 101-95, in the other semifinal game. The battle for gold medal is set Tuesday at 8:15 p.m. at the same venue.

The national team will be aiming for its 18th gold medal in 20 SEA Games.

Gilas coach Tim Cone expects the game against the Thais to be a close one considering the way they pressure the ball, and switch it to half court zone defense – evident in the three games in the elimination.

“They did a really good job with their pressure. We’ve got a day to prepare. They play different defense in terms of zone defense. It’s going to be difficult,” said Cone, who is eyeing his first gold medal as coach of the national team after a bronze medal finish during the 1998 Asian Games in Bangkok, Thailand.

“We’ve got to defend them first and then get out in the open court. It’s going to be a struggle tomorrow. But we’re close to our goal. I’ve won few championships (in the PBA), but I’ve never won a gold medal,” added Cone.

 The scores:

PHILIPPINES 97 – Standhardinger 14, Wright 13, Manuel 12, Ross 11, Pringle 9, Fajardo 9, Lassiter 7, Rosario 7, Slaughter 6, Aguilar 6, Ravena 2, Tenorio 1.

INDONESIA 70 – Kokodiputra 20, Grahita 14, Dhyaksa 11, Joni 11, Gemilang 6, Sitorus 4, Oei 2, Kokasih 2, Wickasono 0.

Quarters: 24-20; 39-28; 78-45; 97-70.

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