No surprise: Gilas rips Thailand by 34 for 18th SEA Games gold

MANILA, Philippines – Not one team gave Gilas Pilipinas a scare in the 2019 Southeast Asian Games. Thailand proved no exception. 

The Philippines retained its status as the undisputed king of men's basketball in the region after smothering Thailand, 115-81, to clinch its 18th gold medal in the biennial showpiece on Tuesday, December 10. 

A 40-point third-quarter assault opened the floodgates for Gilas Pilipinas as it captured its 13th straight gold medal in the sport – the only times it did not win the crown were in the 1979 and 1989 editions. 

The win marked a sweep in basketball for the country, with the Philippines ruling the men's and women's 3x3 events and Gilas Pilipinas Women notching their first gold medal in SEA Games history.

Seven Gilas Pilipinas players scored in double figures led by June Mar Fajardo, who churned out 17 and 13 rebounds, and Christian Standhardinger, who put up 16 points – 14 coming in the first half alone – and 11 boards. 

Their efforts earlier paved the way for the blowout, with Matthew Wright sinking all of his 4 triples in a scorching third-quarter display that saw the Philippines turn a slim 48-39 halftime lead to an 88-54 cushion.

Wright delivered 14 points and 5 steals, Vic Manuel also had 14 points, while Stanley Pringle scattered 13 points, 4 assists, and 2 steals.

Kiefer Ravena – who nailed his fifth straight SEA Games gold medal – added 10 points and 4 assists for Gilas Pilipinas. 

Tyler Lamb had 33 points, 8 rebounds, and 6 assists to lead Thailand, which improved from its bronze-medal finish in the 2017 edition.

Vietnam, meanwhile, clinched its first medal in the sport with a bronze following its win over Indonesia in the battle-for-third match.  Rappler.com

Delfin Dioquino

Delfin Dioquino dreamt of being a PBA player, but he did not have the skills to make it. So he pursued the next best thing to being an athlete – to write about them. He took up journalism at the University of Santo Tomas and joined Rappler as soon as he graduated in 2017.

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