Roughened up by the enemy early, the Philippines got its act together late Thursday night just in time to pull out a 88-60 victory in the 31st Southeast Asian Games men’s basketball tournament.
Gilas Pilipinas once again leaned on cornerstone June Mar Fajardo to mangle the hosts at Than Tri Gymnasiumin in Hanoi and tab a fourth straight win in the event where the Filipinos are the reigning champions.
The PBA’s six-time Most Valuable Player scattered 25 points and plucked 11 rebounds to grease Nationals’ pull-away in the second half which ultimately kept the campaign spotless through four matches.
Kiefer Ravena and Francis Lopez chipped in 12 each in the scoring effort as the Philippines take aim at two more foes: 1-2 Malaysia and idle and 3-0 Indonesia.
Gilas takes a break this Friday and will resume its title-retention bid on Saturday against the struggling Perbasi.