Gilas cadets survive upset scare from Thais, advance to gold medal round
Mark Escarlote on Jun 14, 2015 09:03 PM
I got nothing but praise for our team in the way they handled the pressure in the second half when they were down. And for young kids they could easily have succumbed to that and played like young kids under pressure, instead they played like veteran players --- coach Tab Baldwin
SINGAPORE --- Kiefer Ravena nailed the biggest three-pointer he shot in this 28th Southeast Asian Games with only 16.2 seconds remaining to save the Philippines from humiliation beating an upset-conscious Thailand, 80-75, in the men’s basketball semifinals at the OCBC Arena 1 here.
With the crowd of mostly Filipinos standing on their feet, Ravena found an opening in Thailand’s choking defense, pulling up a triple to create enough separation against their rival that controlled most of the game and buried the Gilas cadets in a 10-point hole at the half.
“This is a professional team we played today. They played like a professional team. They have months of preparation together,” said head coach Tab Baldwin of the Thai cagers, composed mostly of players playing in the ASEAN Basketball League.
Troy Rosario posted a double-double of 27 points and 12 rebounds with three assists to pace the Filipinos. Almond Vosotros was scorching behind the arc, drilling all his 18 points from the three-point territory and helping the PHI squad burn their deficit in the second half for the come-from-behind win.
"I got nothing but praise for our team in the way they handled the pressure in the second half when they were down. And for young kids they could easily have succumbed to that and played like young kids under pressure, instead they played like veteran players. They did the things we need to do to comeback against a very good Thailand team," he added.
Ravena had 12 points for the Gilas cadets, who lost forward Glenn Khobuntin in an ejection following a scuffle with Thai player Sukhdave Ghogar under the basket with 5:57 remaining where naturalized center Marcus Douthit was also called for an unsportsmanlike foul in aiding his teammates.
The Gilas cadets will face in the gold medal match the winner between Singapore and Indonesia on Monday.
The Filipinos found themselves trailing, 33-43, at the half before outscoring the Thais 26-13 in the third to enter the payoff period with a 59-56 lead.
Thailand kept pace with the Filipinos the whole fourth quarter, tying the game at 73 with only 1:37 remaining in an easy basket from Kannut Samerjai.
Rosario scored on a putback after Vosotros’ missed outside shot followed bu his split charities to put the PHI ahead, 76-73.
Nattakaran Muangboon cut Thailand’s deficit to 75-76 with only 34 seconds remaining before Ravena’s game-winner.
Thailand missed an outside shot and Baser Amer sank his first freethrow before intentionally missing his second as the partisan crowd finally got a sigh of relief.
Muangboon and Ratdech Kruatiwa scored 15 points each for Thailand.
Watch more of Baldwin's post game interview here:
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