Defending champion Philippines guns for back-to-back wins when it faces Vietnam at 8 p.m. tonight in the men’s basketball competition of the 30th Southeast Asian Games at the Mall of Asia Arena in Pasay City.
Gilas Pilipinas started its title retention bid with a 110-58 rout of Singapore on Wednesday night. The Philippines is targeting its 18th overall SEA Games basketball title.
But Gilas coach Tim Cone warned Vietnam is no easy prey.
“We expect a much tougher battle against Vietnam. They are much athletic and skilled than the team we played today,” said Cone.
Vietnam also scored a rout — 131-52 — against Myanmar in Wednesday’s opener.
Cone stressed that despite being the most formidable team in this year’s SEAG, they respect all their opponent.
“I just hope that we are just showcasing our basketball. I’m not talking about the big win or whatever. We are just showcasing basketball and the class of these guys,” he said. “They are good guys, all of them, and they all care about representing the country properly.”
Troy Rosario led Gilas with 15 points. Stanley Pringle added 14 points and five assists, Vic Manuel contributed 14 points, Matthew Wright 13 points and June Mar Fajardo 12 points.
The Philippines will meet Myanmar at the same time and venue on Saturday.