Philippines is still Seaba’s best, trounces Thailand for crownBy Celest R. Flores
MANILA, Philippines – The Philippines sealed a tournament-long domination with a 74-52 rout of host Thailand, which clinched 2012 SEABA championship and the lone berth to the Fiba Asia Cup Saturday in Chiang Mai City.
The squad, composed of select amateur players, standouts from Alaska in the PBA and holdovers from the previous Smart Gilas, swept all its four assignments and the Philippines cemented its stature as basketball’s best in Southeast Asia.
The Philippines enjoyed the lead over the hapless Thais all throughout the contest but eased up a bit on the host late in the payoff period.
A trip to Tokyo, Japan late this year for the FIBA Asia Cup was the prize for the Philippines, who also remained undefeated last year, for topping the tournament.
Gilas’ original cast Marcus Douthit and Chris Tiu delivered the goods for the PH team while NCAA standout Garvo Lanete, who averaged 10 points in the tournament, stepped up anew.