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Gilas 3x3 teams go perfect at start of SEA Games campaigns

Gilas Men wave to the crowd after their win against Myanmar. SEA Games pool photo
By Ivan Saldajeno

BIÑAN—Gilas Pilipinas 3x3 got off to a great start in the Southeast Asian Games as both its teams walked away from the FilOil Flying V Centre in San Juan City unbeaten on Sunday.

Gilas Men went 4-0 to begin their quest in the men's division, while their distaff counterparts, Gilas Women, began their women's gold medal bid 3-0.

Gilas Men had a hard time against Indonesia before pulling away late for a 21-17 win. They then beat Myanmar and Thailand with similar 21-10 routs with a 21-15 romping of Vietnam in between.

Jason Perkins showed might in his national team debut, averaging 8.5 points a game on Sunday to lead all scorers.

“I feel happy with the wins.... It is a great experience playing for flag and such an honor and pride having those people watching and cheering for us,” Chris Newsome expressed his satisfaction with the results.

With a semifinal berth virtually booked, he now looks forward to a tougher grind on Monday.

"We have tough matches ahead and we just have to keep our focus," Newsome added.

Meanwhile, Gilas Women had to grind out two tough matches late into their Day 1 stint to preserve the perfect record.

After romping Myanmar, 21-4, Gilas Women held off a late Malaysia run to win, 15-13, and had to rely on clutch baskets from Afril Bernardino, Janine Pontejos, and Jack Animam to edge Indonesia, 16-13.

Follow him on Twitter: @IvanSaldajeno