Gilas cruises to third straight win, wallops Malaysia, 106-51
May 14, 2017
On the eve of the Philippines-Malaysia tiff, coach Chot Reyes lauded the Malaysians as a gritty young team that plays with a good brand of defense. Gilas Pilipinas obliterated it from the get-go and kept its brutal beating of the SEABA Championship opposition with a 106-51 walloping of the Malaysians at the Smart Araneta Coliseum Sunday night. The Nationals roared to a third straight lopsided win before taking a rest Monday. They plunge back into action versus Thailand Tuesday. Andray Blatche, Matthew Wright, Terrence Romeo, Troy Rosario, Jayson Williams and RR Pogoy led Gilas in the scoring parade versus the Malaysians, scoring at least 10 apiece. Earlier, Indonesia’s gritty nine-man crew fought Thailand in a tough grind-out battle and squeezed through in the dying seconds, 60-59, to stay abreast with Gilas at 3-0. Star guard Mario Wuysang bled for his points but came through when he really needed to – striking on a step-back jumper in the last 11 seconds – as the Indons beat the Thais in a virtual showdown for second place. Indonesia is highly favored versus Vietnam Monday and MyanmarTuesday before facing its giant test against Gilas Pilipinas at the close of this FIBA Asia zonal competition on Thursday. Against the Malaysians, the Nationals sustained their murderous romp, cutting loose from the early minutes on a 19-3 start before closing the first quarter at 36-17. But somehow, the Malaysians proved they’re made of sterner stuffs than the Burmese and the Singaporeans. They scored the first basket courtesy of Kok Hou Teo and showcased loads of gritty efforts to the prodding of coach Cheng Huat Goh. The bulk of the Malaysian team are well familiar with Philippine basketball as they have played in two PBA D-League conferences carrying the banner of Blustar Detergents. And they had their title run in the Asean Basketball League under Filipino coach Ariel Vanguardia. "Coming into the game, we knew Malaysia is a physical squad. We prepared for that," said Reyes. But there’s no way that they could keep up with Gilas. As in their first two outings, the Filipinos had the game in the bag at the half at 61-26. Back-to-back rim-rattling jams by Japeth Aguilar highlighted the Gilas breakaway.