Newsome, Gilas stay focused with SEA Games gold in reach
MANILA, Philippines—Quite expectedly, Gilas Pilipinas was an unstoppable force at the start of the 30th Southeast Asian Games 3×3 basketball event Sunday.
The Filipinos dominated—albeit getting a surprise challenge from Indonesia in the opener—heading into the final day of competition. But not even being invincible had Chris Newsome looking too far ahead.
“With the 4-0 start, that definitely improves our [gold medal] chances but we’re by no means finished with our work,” Newsome told reporters shortly after the Philippines’ capped day one with a masterful victories over Vietnam (21-15) and Thailand (21-10). “We’re not finished until the game is done.”
“I think right now all we can do is go home and rest. Now is not the time to celebrate but now is the time to focus even more on what we have to do to reach that gold. So as long as we get our rest tonight and come back and everyones’ mentally ready to go then I feel like we have a great chance.
The Philippines, with Jason Perkins leading the way, had already earned a spot in the semifinals after being the only undefeated team left.
But Newsome, who provided one of the many highlights by Gilas when he drove for an emphatic two-handed dunk, is far from satisfied, noting that the team still has room for improvement ahead of its final two games in the preliminaries against Malaysia and winless Cambodia.
“There’s still times where we had some lapses and we gave up two-point shots. We also want to avoid committing turnovers,” he said.
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