Gilas Pilipinas survives Thailand challenge to open SEA Games
Paul Lintag on Aug 21, 2017 11:01 AM
Ray Parks of the Philippines soars for an easy layup during their match against Thailand in the men's basketball competition of the 29th Southeast Games late Sunday at the MABA Stadium in Kuala Lumpur. The Filipinos won, 81-74.
Well, the Thais were supposed to be a tough out for the Philippines anyway.
Gilas Pilipinas survived the Thailand challenge Sunday, opening the 2017 Southeast Asian Games with an 81-74 win at the MABA Stadium in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia.
Entering the biennial tournament as the 11-time defending champions, the Philippines found it hard to blow past the pesky Thais that featured Thai-American Tyler Lamb of the ASEAN Basketball League champions Hong Kong Eastern Long Lions.
In fact, Thailand was in the lead in the fourth period before Gilas Pilipinas went clutch and unloaded a pivotal 8-0 run to seize control for good.
Troy Rosario, Kiefer Ravena, and Baser Amer all shined in the clutch for the Philippines as Gilas opened Group A with a 1-0 record.
Rosario led the Philippines with a 16-point, 10-rebound double-double while Christian Standhardinger, who joined the team from Lebanon after playing in the FIBA-Asia Cup, added 15 off the bench. He also grabbed 10 boards.
Ray Parks, who was assigned to Lamb all game long, fired 14 points and four steals for Gilas and Ravena ended up with 11 points. Baser Amer tallied only six markers but dished out 10 assists.
Gilas actually put up a 13-point lead in the second quarter, 29-16, but the national would almost instantly lose it as the Thais charged with a 10-0 run to close in, 32-33.
Lamb buried 17 points for Thailand but he fouled out in the fourth period just as the Philippine rally was starting to take shape. Kannut Samerjai 12 points.
PHILIPPINES 81 - Rosario 16, Standhardinger 15, Parks 14, Ravena 11, Tolomia 8, Amer 6, Jose 6, Vosotros 3, Ferrer 2, Paras 0, Pessumal 0.
THAILAND 74 - Lamb 17, Samerjai 12, Ananti 11, P. Klahan 10, Jakrawan 9, C. Klahan 5, Apiromvilaichai 4, Kruatiwa 4, Chanthachon 2, Ghogar 0, Lakhan 0, Muangboon 0.
Quarters: 22-12, 36-34, 60-59, 81-74.
Follow this writer on Twitter, @paullintag