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SOUTHEAST ASIAN KINGS | Philippines outlasts Thailand to claim SEABA Stanković Gold

PBA (file photo)
By Julian Reyes

BANGKOK--The Gilas Pilipinas Cadets proved the country's billing as the best Southeast Asian basketball team after trouncing host Thailand in the gold medal match of the 2016 SEABA Stanković Cup, 97-80, at Stadium 29, Saturday.

The Philippines rode on an empathic fourth quarter run to thump Thailand and claim its second SEABA Stanković title, the first since 2012.

The explosive 30-18 fourth quarter for the Filipinos started when Mac Belo drilled a back-to-back trey and a jumpshot in the seventh minute mark of the last frame a to turn a perilous 69-66 edge to a more cautious 77-66 lead.

That was followed by a back-to-back attacks from Jiovani Jalalon and a seven straight baskets conversion by Mike Tolomia to buried the host team further, 89-75, 1:33 left.

The Philippines assured its business and capped the game connecting three freebies, courtesy of Jalalon and Roger Pogoy, to mark the final score.

Up against a loftier Thai squad, team captain Troy Rosario carried the Filipinos anew in the first 30 minutes of the game before letting his teammates to take the matters in their hands in the fourth en route to a team-high 17 points, seven boards and three steals.

After a massive performance in the round-robin duel against the same team they had face in the finals, Belo continued to do damage on the Thailand side as he mustered 14 points, including eight in the final canto which seperated the two teams scores.

Unlike in their heartstopping 66-65 victory over Thailand less than 48 hours ago, in which no other Filipino except Rosario and Belo finished in double figures, the Philippines recorded four other players who scored in twin digits after the game.

Jalalon had 16 points, seven boards and three dimes, Tolomia finished with 12 points, Almond Vosotros delivered 11 points off the bench and Pogoy registered 10 points to help the Philippines.

The Philippines also found its 3-point shooting mark as it connected 12 triples this time, arguably better than the three it made during the first encounter with the Thai.

The shooting percentage of the Cadets also improved from 27 percent on Thursday to a splendid 40 percent in the field this time, and from eight percent to a 37 percent from beyind the arc.

This is the second appearance of the Filipinos in the said tournament after opting out to participate in the preceeding editions.

The finals win against Thailand also gave the Philippines its 26th gold medal in the Southeast Asian basketball tournaments it participated.

Chitchai Ananti and Nakorn Jaisanuk tried to spark a Thai's comeback midway in the last canto but their combined 13 points in the frame was not enough to fend off a collective team effort of the Filipinos.

Ananti tallied 19 points and six rebounds while Jaisanuk recorded six points, all in the fourth quarter, to lead the Thai who was ruined by a 30 percent shooting in the field and a dismaying 21 turnovers.

Teerawat Chanthachon and Attaporn Lertmalaiporn added 11 points each for Thailand on a combined 8 of 21 shooting.

Box Scores:

Philippines 97-Rosario 17, Jalalon 16, Belo 14, Tolomia 12, Vosotros 11, Pogoy 10, Ferrer 8, Escoto 6, Jose 2, Pessumal 1, Holmqvist 0

Thailand 80-Ananti 19, Chanthachon 11, Lertmalaiporn 11, Samerjai 10, C. Klahan 9, P. Klahan 8, Jaisanuk 6, Lakhan 6, Towaroj 0, Apiromvilaichai 0

Quarterscores: 22-22, 49-45, 67-62, 97-80

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