SEA Games: Gilas routs Myanmar ahead of KO semis vs Indonesia
MANILA, Philippines — National team head coach Tim Cone stressed the importance for his wards to play the right way against a winless Myanmar side in the 30th Southeast Asian Games Saturday night.
Gilas Pilipinas did just that by staying the course and playing its usual game en route to a 136-67 blowout for its biggest win in the competitions so far.
Apart from its depth and talent, the Filipinos’ size has caused nightmares for their past two opponents in Singapore and Vietnam.
Gilas could’ve easily went to its bigs again the much smaller Burmese but it turned to its deadshot swingmen instead in Matthew Wright and Marcio Lassiter, who put on a shooting exhibition.
Wright and Lassiter were almost automatic especially in the second quarter where Gilas put the game away after outscoring Myanmar, 45-12, for a 77-36 halftime lead. The two combined for eight triples in just the second quarter.
Wright topscored with 29 points on 8-of-16 shooting from deep while Vic Manuel added 24 points and 11 rebounds. Lassiter finished with 15 points all coming from the 3-point area.
Quite expectedly, Gilas swept its group without any hitch to arrange a duel with Indonesia, the No. 2 team in the other bracket, in the knockout semifinals on Monday night.
The Indonesians, who are coached by former Gilas mentor Rajko Toroman, went 2-1 in their group that saw Thailand go 3-0.
June Mar Fajardo, who powered the Nationals with 23 points and 12 rebounds in a 110-69 drubbing of Vietnam Friday night, did not play as well as Stanley Pringle.
The game marked just the second time the Philippines and Myanmar played in the SEA Games. The only other time came in 2013 where the Philippines, led by amateur stars, beat the Burmese, 118-43.