STILL KING. Gilas Pilipinas dominates Indonesia to win 8th SEABA title

Paul Lintag on May 18, 2017 08:42 PM
STILL KING. Gilas dominates Indonesia to win 8th SEABA title
Gilas swept the entire tournament, winning six games by an average of 58.6 points to re-affirm its status as the king of ASEAN basketball.

Manila, Philippines --- Indonesia was supposed to give Gilas Pilipinas its toughest challenge yet in the 2017 SEABA Championships.

Well that challenge never came.

The Philippines earned its 8th SEABA title, powering past Indonesia with a dominant 97-64 victory Thursday at the Araneta Coliseum here.

Gilas swept the entire tournament, winning six games by an average of 58.6 points to re-affirm its status as the king of ASEAN basketball.

The tournament win also allowed the Philippines to qualify for the 2017 FIBA-Asia Cup happening later this year in Lebanon.

"We knew we were going to be tested, and I felt we were ready for it," head coach Chot Reyes said as his crew came out guns blazing.

"I just reminded the players to play in a way that honors what the previous Gilas teams had started, the kind of culture and tradition we built," he added.

"I felt Jimmy [Alapag] put it very well when he said it's very rare that you get a chance to play for a championship in front of your home crowd, regardless if it's SEABA or FIBA Asia."

Just like it did throughout this regional showcase, Gilas Pilipinas got off to a fiery start with Andray Blatche leading the charge.

At the end of the first 10 minutes, the naturalized center already had 10 points and six rebounds as the Philippines took a commanding 34-14 lead against the stunned Indonesians.

Things would slow down for both teams in the second period as Gilas struggled a bit against Indonesia's zone defense. However, the Philippines still managed to win the quarter to take a 21-point advantage at the break.

With Indonesia looking to make one final run at the SEABA title, Gilas dropped the hammer in the third as the duo of Blatche and June Mar Fajardo almost outscored Indonesia on their own. Terrence Romeo and Matthew Wright also finally broke that Indonesian zone as both gunners buried four triples to the delight of the hometown crowd.

It was cruise control for the Philippines by the time the final period hit but Gilas still managed to take a 38-point lead before settling for a 33-point win, its smallest winning margin of the tournament.

Playing his best game of the SEABA Championships, Blatche finished with a total of 21 points and 10 boards for Gilas while Jayson Castro also had a fine all-around performance, going for 14 points, seven rebounds, and five assists.

Fajardo added 13 points, four boards, and two blocks for the Philippines.

Indonesia, who came in undefeated at 5-0 and looking for a major upset, fell victim to Gilas' top-notch defense, shooting only 38 percent from the field as a team.

Arki Wisnu led the Indonesians with 11 points off the bench while Mario Wuysang added 10. Naturalized forward Jamarr Johnson struggled for only four points on 2-of-6 shooting.


The Scores:

PHILIPPINES 97 - Blatche 21, Castro William 14, Fajardo 13, Wright 9, Rosario 9, Aguilar 6, Jalalon 6, Romeo 6, Pogoy 5, Abueva 5, Malicsi 3, Almazan 0

INDONESIA 64 - Wisnu 11, Wuysang 10, Setipu 8, Grahita 8, Pratama 8, Kurniawan 7, Sitorus 4, Johnson 4, Nugroho 2, Dhyaksa 2, Lakudu 0

Quarterscores: 34-14, 51-30, 78-47, 97-64



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