By REYNALD MAGALLON
Gilas Pilipinas mauled the hapless Singapore, 105-45, to advance to the semifinals of the 5-on-5 men’s basketball event in the 32nd Southeast Asian Games at the Elephant Hall 2 Morodok Techo National Stadium on Saturday, May 13.
The painful loss to host Cambodia the other day seemed to be the wake-up call for the Filipinos who were ruthless right from the get go, opening the contest with a blazing 21-0 start.
That proved to be the early dagger to the hearts of the Singaporean as Gilas easily cruised to the 60-point win that closed out the group stage assignments for the Filipinos and finished with a 2-1 record in Group A standings.
Gilas could face either Thailand or defending champion Indonesia in the semifinals.
Six players finished in double-figures for the Nationals with Marcio Lassiter firing 16 points built on four triples while CJ Perez added a double-double of 13 points and 11 rebounds.
Justin Brownlee seemed to have acclimatized himself better, finishing 12 points, eight assists and six rebounds while Jerom Lastimosa and Michael Phillips chipped in 12 apiece as well.
Brandon Ganuelas Rosser was the other twin-digit scorer for Gilas with 10.
The Filipinos simply couldn’t do anything wrong in the first six minutes of the contest, especially on the defensive end where they denied the Singaporeans any good looks at the basket.
Singapore scored its first pair of points from the foul line with 3:43 left in the first quarter before the first field goal came in the final seven seconds of the frame.
The game, however, seemed to be already decided from that point as Singapore’s spirits were simply overwhelmed by Gilas which continued to pound on their counterparts in the ensuing quarters.
Shi Yu Ng was the only double-digit scorer with 10 as Singapore wrapped up the group stage winless through three games.