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Gilas survives Thailand at start of SEA Games campaign

By Ivan Saldajeno

CALAMBA--Gilas' "Team B" engaged in a wild encounter with Thailand to start its SEA Games campaign.

In the end, the "second team" duplicated its "first team's" feat.

The Gilas Cadets-powered Philippine side subdued Thailand, 81-74, at the MABA Stadium in Kuala Lumpur on Sunday night.

Gilas actually threatened to pull away early on, opening a 29-16 cushion with 7:09 left in the second quarter.

Thailand, however, went on a 17-3 run to take a 33-32 lead later in the second.

Gilas eventually retook the lead by halftime, 36-34, but the game tight for most of the second half as the team only escaped due to crucial Thai misses.

Down 74-77, Thailand had an opportunity to tie the game after the team got two straight blocks, but Chanachon Klahan misfired a three-point attempt and Baser Amer, following a rebound, found Chris Standhardinger for a basket Gilas' lead to five with 53 seconds left.

Klahan and Ratdech Kruatiwa missed three-balls in succession, and Ray-Ray Parks and Standhardinger each split their free throws to seal the win.

Troy Rosario, the lone member of Gilas' SEABA team that made the SEA Games lineup, led the Filipinos with 16 points on 7-of-11 shooting, 10 rebounds, and two steals, while Standhardinger, who quickly joined Gilas' SEA Games team following the FIBA Asia Cup team's shock early boot, added 15 points, 10 rebounds, two assists, one block, and one assist.

Parks, Kiefer Ravena, and Toto Jose, the three Gilas members who played in the ABL last season, chipped in 14, 11, and six markers each.

Amer dished out 10 assists without a turnover on top of six points and three rebounds.

The win came hours after Gilas' FIBA Asia team won over Jordan in Beirut to end its campaign there on a high note.

Tyler Lamb, who is set to become teammates with Standhardinger for Eastern in next year's ABL wars, led Thailand with 17 points, six rebounds, and two steals.

Box Scores:

Philippines 81-Rosario 16, Standhardinger 15, Parks 14, Ravena 11, Tolomia 8, Amer 6, Jose 6, Vosotros 3, Ferrer 2, Pessumal 0, Paras 0

Thailand 74-Lamb 17, Samerjai 12, Ananti 11, P. Klahan 10, Jakrawan 9, C. Klahan 5, Apiromvilaichai 4, Kruatiwa 4, Chanthachon 2, Muangboon 0, Ghogar 0, Lakhan 0

Quarterscores: 22-12, 36-34, 60-59, 81-74

Follow him on Twitter: @IvanSaldajeno