The Gilas Pilipinas national team, as expected, soundly beat Myanmar, 147-40, on Friday in the opening day of 2017 Southeast Asian Basketball Association (SEABA) Championship at the Araneta Coliseum.
Gilas asserted dominance right from the get go schooling the visiting team in the ways of Pinoy basketball.
“We just talked about not worrying about the extraneous things and just what we need to do to get the job done,” national team coach Chot Reyes told the media after the game. “The only thing we were concerned about was our hustle numbers and not our points.”
Forward Calvin Abueva led Gilas Pilipinas 22 points, five steals, six rebounds and four assists. Eight of his team members scored in double figures – Allein Maliksi (20 points), Roger Pogoy (17), June Mar Fajardo (14), Jio Jalalon (13) Troy Rosario (13), Matthew Wright (12), Japeth Aguilar (11) and naturalized player Andray Blatche (11).
Jalalon’s 10 assists also helped Gilas in pulling off a rout.
The Philippines dominated Myanmar in rebound (57-33), assists (45-8), steals (25-4), three-point shooting (11-5) and blocks (12-1).
Gilas is bent on bagging the SEABA title to qualify for the FIBA Asia Cup on August 10 to 20 in Lebanon.
Pogoy, who posted 11 points in the first period, gave the Philippines a hefty 17-0 early lead. He scored a three-pointer with 6:20 left in the opening quarter. The Philippines ballooned its lead to as many as 50 points by the end of the first half.
Raymond Almazan’s two free throws with a second left before the end of the second quarter gave Gilas Pilipinas its biggest lead, 66-12. Gilas further stretched the advantage to 100 points, 140-40, after Pogoy’s jumper with still 2:58 left in the game.
Earlier, Indonesia cruised past Singapore, 71-50, while Thailand defeated Malaysia, 74-67.
The Philippines will battle Singapore at 7 p.m. today at the same venue. The Thailand vs Vietnam match is set at 3 p.m. followed by the Indonesia vs Malaysia game at 5 p.m.