Philippines turns back upset hopes of Singapore in SEABA Cup

MANILA, Philippines – The Philippines staved off the upset-seeking Singapore, 81-59, to improve to 2-0 in the 2016 SEABA Stankovic Cup on Tuesday, May 24, at the Stadium 29 in Bangkok, Thailand.

Jio Jalalon finished with 17 points on 8-of-12 field goals to go with 4 rebounds. Almond Vosotros registered 14 points, while Mike Tolomia chipped in 12 markers, 4 rebounds, and 4 assists.

The Philippines, represented by the Gilas cadets comprised of collegiate standouts, was unable to blow out Singapore this time around, unlike what it did to Malaysia last Sunday.

The cadets, who handled the hard-fighting Singaporeans all throughout, managed to build an 18-point lead in the fourth quarter but saw it get whittled down as their foes went on a 9-0 burst, 50-59.

But Jalalon countered with 6 straight points after the timeout to re-establish a 65-50 lead, and the Filipinos never looked back.

Head coach Nash Racela praised his wards for keeping Singapore just under 60 points. However, he still emphasized the need for better defense, saying "we can do better."

Team captain Troy Rosario, meanwhile, had just 4 points but tallied 9 rebounds and 4 assists.

"Maybe my defense and my rebounding because we're gonna play Indonesia next game and they're big also," he said during the post-game interview, when asked what he would focus on for the team's next assignment.

"We just need to focus on our team defense. We played bad defense today and committed too many turnovers (14)."

Delvin Goh topscored for Singapore with 17 points, 4 rebounds, and 3 assists. John Ng added 12 points.

The cadets take on Indonesia on Wednesday, May 25. – Rappler.com