by Waylon Galvez
(Mall of Asia Arena)
12 noon – Myanmar vs Singapore (Men’s)
2:15 p.m. – Malaysia vs Cambodia (Men’s)
6 p.m. – Thailand vs Indonesia (Women’s)
8:15 p.m. – Philippines vs Vietnam (Men’s)
Gilas Pilipinas guns for its second straight win when the Filipinos battle the Vietnamese in the elimination round of the basketball competitions in the 30th Southeast Asian (SEA) Games today at the Mall of Asia Arena.
Fresh from a convincing 110-58 win against Singapore last Wednesday to start its bid for an 18th gold medal in the biennial meet, the national team hopes to keep its fine form versus Vietnam.
The game between the Philippines and Vietnam – bracketed in Group A with Singapore and Myanmar – is set at 8:15 p.m.
Other men’s division games feature Myanmar versus Singapore at 12 noon and Malaysia opposite Cambodia – in Group B with Indonesia and Thailand – at 2:15 p.m.
In the lone women’s game, Indonesia faces Thailand at 6 p.m.
In its encounter against Singapore, the Philippines showed the type of defensive tenacity that Gilas coach Tim Cone wants from his players, and that’s the same thing he expects when they play the Vietnamese.
“They’ll be a lot better than Singapore,” said Cone. “We’re expecting a much tougher battle against Vietnam. We think they ‘re one of the teams to beat out here, so we got to be ready for them.”
Vietnam likewise opened its own campaign with a masterful 131-52 win over Myanmar with Tam Dinh Thanh and An Du Minh combining for 46 points while forward Phu Vinh Nguyen Huynh had 15 points and 12 rebounds.
Troy Rosario led the Nationals with 15 points against Singapore, while Vic Manuel – in his first stint with the national team – and Stanley Pringle contributed 14 points apiece. Matthew Wright added 13 points while June Mar Fajardo – the reigning five-time PBA Most Valuable Player – had 12 points.
Despite the 52-point win on Singapore, Cone said he doesn’t expect the team to be winning by 50-plus points every game. While he knows how deadly the team is on the offensive end, what he wants to see is for the players to work harder on the defensive side.
Against the Singaporeans, Gilas converted nearly 60 percent of its shots while holding the opposing team – with its defensive wall – to below 33 percent shooting from the field.
PHILIPPINES 110 – Rosario 15, Manuel 14, Pringle 14, Wright 13, Fajardo 12, Slaughter 9, Aguilar 9, Standhardinger 8, Lassiter 7, Ravena 6, Tenorio 3, Ross 0.
SINGAPORE 58 – Wei M. K. 10, Kok 8, Qing 8, Zhong 8, Wei L. W. 6, V Lavin 5, Vignesh 4, Lary 3, Isaac 0, Xingyuan 0, Chin 0.
Quarters: 30-13; 48-28; 77-48; 110-58.