Gilas cadets grab PHI's 11th straight SEA Games basketball gold

Mark Escarlote on Jun 15, 2015 11:01 PM
Gilas cadets grab PHI's 11th straight SEA Games cage gold
They are young kids, they make a lot of mistakes. They have great heart, great passion for the game and great passion for their country. This is not an easy tournament --- Tab Baldwin

SINGAPORE --- The Philippines remained on their lofty spot as the best in the region as the Gilas cadets dismantled the hard-fighting Indonesians, 72-64, Monday night in the Southeast Asian Games men’s basketball to contribute to the country’s 29th gold medal overall at the jam-packed OCBC Arena Hall 1 here.

Mark Belo played his heart out with 22 points while Kiefer Ravena, who became the most bemedalled Filipino cager in history of the biennial meet with his third straight gold medal, finished with 12 point with five rebounds and three assists for the PHI’s 11th championship in a row and 17th overall.

"Sometimes with the way they play they drive me crazy," said head coach Tab Baldwin, who can now finally breathe after a bumpy campaign that saw his team narrowly escape a gritty Thailand squad in the semifinals last Sunday.

“They are young kids, they make a lot of mistakes. They have great heart, great passion for the game and great passion for their country. This is not an easy tournament,” he added.

Except for the opening basket made by Indonesia, the young squad composed of the best collegiate players in the country and backed by veteran naturalized player Marcus Douthit led the whole ball game but were continuously threatened up until the final three minutes.

Indonesia cut the Gilas cadets’ 59-47 advantage in the last 8:17 to 63-58 with only 2:55 remaining in the payoff period from Rony Gunawan’s basket. After a two minute drought between the teams, Belo sank two free throws to give the PHI some breathing space, 65-58, in the last 47 seconds and Indonesia gave up three more charities to the Gilas cadets from intentional fouls before Mario Wuysang scored a triple with 13 ticks in the clock.

Troy Rosario, who played a monster game against Thailand with 27 markers and 12 boards, finally puts the icing on the cake with two free throws in the last three seconds as the Filipino crowd went into jubilation.

Rosario finished with 11 points, Kevin Ferrer had six markers while Almond Vosotros, who had a blistering 18 points all from the trifecta against the Thais, and Scottie Thompson combined for 10 points for the PHI.

Indonesia got 16 markers from Sandy Kurniawan, Christian Sitepu scored 11 while Arki Wisnu got 10.

Singapore got the bronze medal after defeating a tired Thailand, 54-49.

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