Don’t dream it’s over | Inquirer Sports

Don’t dream it’s over

PH won’t get to 50 but hopes high that team will surpass 2015 haul
/ 05:39 AM August 27, 2017

FILE – Gilas’ Kiefer Ravena drives against Singapore during their game in the 2017 Southeast Asian Games at MABA Stadium in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. CONTRIBUTED PHOTO

KUALA LUMPUR—It was the gold that mattered for basketball-crazy Philippines and a feisty bunch of Gilas cadets made sure it wouldn’t slip away.

Mike Tolomia and Kobe Paras came off the bench to provide the substance and style in a 94-55 rout of Indonesia Saturday in the gold medal match of men’s basketball in the 29th Southeast Asian Games here.

And with the goal of 50 gold medals going up in smoke, the dream of at least surpassing the medal count from the Singapore edition two years ago still lives.


A low-key lass who was supposed to be playing in a different sport and a taekwondo trio that featured two brothers and an “adopted son” helped rescue the gasping Philippine bid and give the country a chance of bettering the total from the 2015 edition, where the country posted 29 victories.

As of 10 p.m. Saturday, the Philippines had 18 gold medals, managing just three for the day.

But one of those golds mattered just a little bit more.

With Gilas struggling early in the match, Tolomia came in and fired three triples late in the first half to anchor a Gilas Pilipinas breakaway and then Paras added a little highlight flair in the second half when the Filipinos put the game away to claim their 18th regional crown.


Tolomia finished with 20 points to lead the Philippines while Paras added 14.

Kiyomi Watanabe, a quiet judoka who speaks through her mother Irene, flattened the opposition in the women’s -63 kg category on her way to a third straight SEA Games gold.


The 20-year-old Watanabe won all her bouts via ippon—the equivalent of a knockout in boxing—and took down Thailand’s Orapin Senatham in just 36 seconds of their title bout.

“It wasn’t easy,” said Watanabe. “But I did my best for the country.”

Dustin Jacob Mella, Raphael Enrico Mella and Rodolfo Reyes Jr. also made it three straight for the men’s poomsae team, bagging the gold with 8.40 points and besting favorite Malaysia (8.34).

Former world champion Rani Ortega hugged the three jins, whom she mentored, after the scores were flashed on the wide screen of the KLCC Hall 1.

“We didn’t play like we were the defending champions; we still worked on it like this was our first time,” said Dustin.

But the country could not get gold medals elsewhere. Clarice Patrimonio yielded to a Thai foe in the singles final, leaving tennis with no gold medal to show this year.

Judo was looking at grabbing at least two golds but only Watanabe came through.

And if her mother Irene had a choice, Kiyomi would not have been hurling opponents on to the mats but spiking volleyballs. The elder Watanabe said her daughter secretly trained in judo in school in Japan.

Your subscription could not be saved. Please try again.
Your subscription has been successful.

Subscribe to our daily newsletter

By providing an email address. I agree to the Terms of Use and acknowledge that I have read the Privacy Policy.

The country has another gold medal assured in women’s 9-ball singles after Rubilen Amit and Chezka Centeno forged an all-Filipino finale.

TAGS: Gilas Pilipinas, SEA Games, Team Philippines

© Copyright 1997-2024 | All Rights Reserved

We use cookies to ensure you get the best experience on our website. By continuing, you are agreeing to our use of cookies. To find out more, please click this link.