Gilas Pilipinas opens SEA Games campaign with rout of Singapore
MANILA, Philippines — Gilas Pilipinas missed two free throws and a 3-pointer inside the first two minutes of its keenly-awaited debut in the 30th Southeast Asian Games Wednesday night.
But it took just the first basket to get itself rolling like a well-oiled machine on its way to a 110-58 whipping of Singapore at the start of the 5-on-5 basketball competitions before a packed Mall of Asia Arena.
“It’s fun coaching such a powerhouse team but I don’t think we played our best basketball tonight,” said Philippine team coach Tim Cone.
Stanley Pringle spearheaded the Philippines’ onslaught along with Matthew Wright while June Mar Fajardo and Troy Rosario came off the bench to finish the job.
Rosario finished with 15 points and eight rebounds while Fajardo added 12 points and six rebounds.
Chris Ross also made a big impact in his Gilas debut despite attempting just one shot and going scoreless as he set the tone for his team on the defensive end.
Ross also created plays for his teammates with 10 assists that went with five rebounds, one steal and a block in less than 20 minutes.
Gilas raced to a 30-13 advantage in the first 10 minutes of the game, a lead that kept growing as the game went on.
The Nationals, who shot 59 percent from the field and assisted on 38 out of their 44 made field goals, already had the game in the bag by halftime with a 48-28 lead, which swelled to 50 late in the final frame.
Kwek Wei Mengleon was the lone Singaporean in double-digits with 10.
Putting premium on defense, Gilas held Singapore to just 32 percent from the field.
The Philippines, heavy favorite to retain the gold it has held since 1991, looks to deliver an even more impressive performance against Vietnam on Friday night.