Gilas Pilipinas ditches Indonesia, wins gold in SEABA 2017


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MANILA, Philippines - “Sweet Sweep.” 6-0 it is. Gilas Pilipinas sent Indonesia home and bagged gold in SEABA 2017.

Gilas Pilipinas ditches Indonesia, wins gold in SEABA 2017
Andray Blatche celebrates after posting a double-double 21 points and 10 rebounds. Philstar
Everybody wanted to see the match-up of two Southeast Asian giants: Gilas Pilipinas and Team Indonesia. What’s more interesting was, Indonesia paraded its complete roster with Jamaar Johnson and Arki Wisnu on its line-up. Truly, the fans got the show that they deserved: To see a quality and thrilling basketball action.

One of the most awaited match-ups of this game is the ultimate face-off of point guards, ABL veteran Mario Wuysang and two-time Best Point Guard in Asia, Jayson Castro. Right after the tip-off, the guards started the showdown. Castro got a foul from Wuysang for a deuce and the Indonesian on the other end of the floor did the same to the Filipino.

Andray Blatche who had a good rest yesterday against Vietnam made sure that he’ll be recognized by his counterpart, Jamaar Johnson and consider him as a big threat. Blatche abruptly showed Johnson who the boss is by draining a long triple and a put back slam for an early 9-point lead.

Indo-American Arki Wisnu who had a terrific game yesterday against Myanmar, struggled to find his rhythm and worst, committed his 2 too early fouls in defending against “The Beast” Calvin Abueva. On the other hand, Jayson Castro also acquired his 2nd personal on 1:32 mark of the first. Terrence Romeo went in to take the point position.

The Indonesians were simply overpowered by Team Philippines in the opener and downed by 20, 34-14.

Both squads started with all locals and their reinforcements taking a breather. Philippines was without a natural center and leaving the spot filled by Japeth Aguilar. The 6’9” wing man intimidated the Indonesian team with tremendous shot blocks.

Indonesia, even without its superstars, managed to trim the lead to 15 that signaled Coach Chot Reyes to call a timeout and regroup his crew. Andray Blatche was immediately sent back in to ice the waxing hot hands of the Indonesians.

Philippines after the ceasefire, tightened up its defense that resulted to 2 shot clock violations for Indonesia. Blatche and Aguilar brought the 20-point lead back with a long bomb and a highly-contested layup respectively.

After the slow 1st half, Gilas Pilipinas brought its 21, 51-30 lead to the dugout.

Right after the 3rd quarter inbound, Mario Wuysang who barely touched the ball in the 1st half with Jalalon and Castro guarding him, sank a trey but Andray Blatche countered it with his own three.

June Mar Fajardo, slowly and silently helped his team increase its lead to 69-40 by owning the shaded lane. Fajardo had 11 with 3 more minutes remaining in the third. Terrence Romeo along with Fajardo’s surge, recorded his first three points of the game and quickly added 3 more right after his first field goal.

In the dying seconds of the third, Indonesia had a chance to add more points to its score but Calvin Abueva chased down and blocked the fast break attempt of Arki Wisnu. Gilas ended the third to the tune of 78-47.

It was a good start for the Philippines as Terrence Romeo located Japeth Aguilar for a sensational alley-oop jam.

Jamaar Johnson might have gone cold in this game and spent most of his minutes on the bench. But his fellow American, Arki Wisnu single-handedly took over the scoring chores for Indonesia.

Philippines had a massive lead of 37 with 2 more minutes remaining in the entire ballgame. But Coach Chot Reyes wanted an assurance until the the final horn of the this match so he sent Andray Blatche in.

And after 40 minutes of exciting basketball, Gilas Pilipinas retained its SEABA dominance with the reward of FIBA Asia Championships starting in August which it is bracketed with Japan, Chinese Taipei and one of the world’s heavyweights Team Australia.

Andray Blatche won the Best Player of the game with a double-double 21 points and 10 rebounds.

Congrats Gilas Pilipinas! Laban Pilipinas! Puso!

--Joey Boy Capos, The Summit Express

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