SEA Games: Gilas cadets survive Thailand
KUALA LUMPUR—Under siege, Gilas Pilipinas relied on its individual brilliance — and not much on teamwork — to pull off an 81-74 victory over Thailand at the start of the 2017 Southeast Asian Games basketball tournament at MABA Stadium here.
Kiefer Ravena sank a jumper and two free throws in the tension-filled last three minutes as the Philippines finally wiggled free from Thailand’s grip.
Ravena’s free throw gave the Philippines the lead, 73-71, with four minutes left and then his jumper gave it more breathing space, 75-71.
Asean Basketball League star Tyler Lamb nailed a triple to give Thailand a 46-45 lead early in the third as Gilas encountered difficulty smoothing its offence despite the presence of some of the A-list players in its fold.
But Lamb picked up his fifth and final foul in the early fourth quarter which turned things around for the Philippines.
In the third quarter, Thailand even held a 66-64 lead with seven minutes left in the game.
FIl-German Christian Standhardinger split a charity but hurt his left hand in the process and had to sit out for a few precious minutes.
Teerwat Chantachot made it 68-65 which forced Gilas to push the panic button and saw emotions running wild.
Kobe Paras lashed at the referee and had a shouting match with Kevin Ferrer at the bench as the rest of the bench tried to pacify the 19-year-old sensation.
In what was billed as preview of the finals, Gilas tried use its brimming individual talent to good use by putting up a quick 10-points lead, 22-12, the first quarter.
But the shooting went sour in the second quarter as Gilas allowed Thailand’s Chitchai Anati and Chanatip Jakrawan to come away with crucial baskets.
Soon enough the Thais were ahead, 33-32, but Christian Standhardinger quickly gave Gilas back the lead entering the second half.
News and features about 2017 Southeast Asian Games in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia from August 19-30. Visit http://inq.news/seagames.
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