The Chris Newsome-skippered Team Pilipinas men squad banked on their size to outplay their first two rivals yesterday a the start of the 30th Southeast Asian Games 3x3 basketball tournament at the FilOil-Flying V Arena in San Juan.
Made up mostly of players from the Philippine Basketball Association, Team Pilipinas pulled off a 21-11 subduing of Myanmar to post their second straight win.
This put the Filipino cagers in a share of the lead with Vietnam, and on track in their bid to reach the semifinals.
“We should be able to win (more games). We got a lot of size. The other teams also have a lot of size too. And there’s plenty of match ups,” said Newsome.
Earlier, Team Philippines got past Indonesia, 21-17, in their opening game.
CJ Perez ended the contest in the last 1:58, when he won match point for his team with his layup off an assist from Jason Perkins.
In the women’s side, the struggling Team Perlas Pilipinas stayed in the top spot with Indonesia following a close 15-13 verdict over Malaysia.
Inside plays from Jack Animam put the Philippines up by five, 7-2, in the last five minutes.
Baskets from skipper Janine Pontejos kept the home team ahead, 15-11, and out of range from a late rally in the last two minutes.
“Nahirapan din kami sa kanila. Sanay din silang maglaro ng 3x3,” said Pontejos.
The Perlas cagebelles got started with a 21-4 rout of Myanmar.
Against Myanmar, Perez knocked in five points during an 11-0 blast which gave Team Philippines a 14-3 lead.
Vietnam joined the Philippines in the early lead with their 19-17 win over Thailand, and 18-12 victory over Malaysia.
They share the top spot with Thailand, which won over Indonesia, 13-11, and Myanmar, 17-5.