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    SEA Games: Gilas Pilipinas makes it two-in-a-row versus Vietnam

    MANILA, Philippines – Gilas Pilipinas’ winning streak in the 30th Southeast Asian (SEA) Games continues as the nationals stopped the resurgent Vietnamese, 110-69 on Friday, December 6, 2019 at the Mall of Asia Arena in Pasay City.
    SEA Games: Gilas Pilipinas makes it two-in-a-row versus Vietnam

    Despite a very convincing win over Singapore on Wednesday, Gilas Pilipinas faced Team Vietnam as the underdogs due to the Vietnamese’s 2-0 clean slate prior to their clash.

    Not only Vietnam carried on an immaculate record, the dark horse team of the tournament won its 2 games in high notes and beat their rivals by humongous numbers.

    Unexpectedly, the Philippines had a hard time in grabbing points as Vietnam’s defense was almost impenetrable and the players’ three point shooting was on point.

    7 minutes had gone by in the opener and the game was tied at 16. But a few moments later, June Mar Fajardo forced his way up and established a decent lead to end up the first, 27-19.

    Mar Fajardo posted a superb double-double to lift the Philippines
    Mar Fajardo posted a superb double-double to lift the Philippines and overcome the feisty Team Vietnam. Photo Credit: Inquirer

    Same thing happened to Gilas in the 2nd quarter. Vietnam’s interior defense headed by Chris Dierker was simply outstanding. Christian Standhardinger and Japeth Guilar couldn’t make baskets underneath like they used to in the PBA.

    It took the Philippines 15 minutes to post a double-digit lead for the very first time but it was immediately cut by Vietnam.

    Coach Tim Cone’s 2nd unit really did well in the entire 2nd period. Led by veteran LA Tenorio, the nationals were able to sustain the twin-digit advantage.

    Philippines still can’t find a way to leave Vietnam in the dust after 2 quarters. But Gilas led Vietnam 52-40 at the half.

    3rd quarter was a blast for Team Pilipinas. Its defense ramped up as well as its offense.

    Barely 2 minutes passed after the 2nd half had commenced, Philippines’ lead went up to 22 and cost Vietnam mandatory timeouts.

    On one hand, Vietnam’s defense collapsed but its three point shooting continued. On the other hand, Coach Cone tasked Fajardo to dominate the shaded lane and demolish all his defenders.

    A steady quarter for Philippines as they handled Vietnam and Jepeth Aguilar wrapped up the third with a monster two-handed dunk for the 80-57 lead.

    Gilas Pilipinas may have started slow. But come the final period, the Filipino cagers signaled to break away and even began to click from the outside.

    With a 35-point lead, Vietnam’s coach waived the white flag too early with over 5 minutes left in the game as he pulled out his starters one by one.

    In the same manner, Coach Tim Cone fielded in his 3rd-stringers to finish the game. Spearheaded by Greg Slaughter, the Filipinos completely left Vietnam behind and hit the 100th-point mark.

    At the end of 4th quarter, Philippines won its 2nd game of the eliminations, 110-69.

    Gilas Pilipinas will face Myanmar tomorrow, December 7, 2019 before taking a break on Sunday in preparation for the semifinals on Monday.

    — Joey Boy Capos, The Summit Express

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