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Gilas Cadets complete sweep of SEA Games basketball with close win in final over Indonesia

FIBA (file photo)
By Ivan Saldajeno

SINGAPORE--After the Gilas Cadets' last meeting against Indonesia in their very first assignment in the preliminaries, Coach Tab Baldwin admitted he was wary about their performance in the 81-52 rout.

On Monday night, the fear nearly became a reality, but the Filipinos held on.

The Gilas Cadets almost blew a huge lead but came out firing in the dying moments to take the gold medal in the Southeast Asian Games men's basketball tournament with a 72-64 win against Indonesia at the OCBC Arena.

Leading by 13, 39-26 at halftime, the Philippine contingent found itself at the wrong end of a 9-1 Indonesia run to start the third quarter and saw its lead trimmed to five, 40-35.

The Cadets restored order late in the period and stretched their lead to 11, 58-47, entering the final quarter.

The Indonesians opened another 9-1 rally to come to within three, 56-59, with 5:07 remaining in the game.

But a Kiefer Ravena slam off a steal sparked the deciding 9-2 run to put the lead back to double-digits with 25.1 seconds as late free throws from him, Mac Belo, and Troy Rosario sealed the win for the Gilas Cadets.

Belo finished with 22 points for the Philippines, which won its 17th SEA Games men's basketball gold by once again sweeping the entire competition.

The win capped a 29-gold-medal performance by the entire Team Pilipinas in the SEA Games, tying the golds it got two years ago in Myanmar.

Sandy Kurniawan led Indonesia, which settled for the silver, with 16 markers.

Earlier Monday, Singapore toppled Thailand for the bronze medal.

Box Scores:

Philippines 72—Belo 22, Ravena 12, Rosario 11, Ferrer 6, Thompson 5, Vosotros 5, Amer 4, Douthit 3, Jalalon 2, Khobuntin 1, Torres 1, Rivero 0

Indonesia 64—Kurnaiwan 16, Sitepu 11, Wisnu 10, Gunawan 8, Wuysang 7, Enguio 7, Putra 3, Indrawan 2, Santosa 0, Sanjaya 0, Dhyaksa 0

Quarterscores: 22-15, 39-26, 58-47, 72-64