HANOI – The Philippine basketball teams moved a victory away from claiming the 31st Southeast Asian Games golds following victories yesterday (Saturday) at the Thanh Tri Gymnasium.
Gilas Pilipinas Men leaned on Thirdy Ravena’s early attack to beat Malaysia, 87-44, for their fifth win in as many games.
Gilas Pilipinas Women, meantime, defeated Singapore, 88-61, to win its fourth game and stay unbeaten in the competition, a round-robin format tournament with the team that finishes first at the end of play today (Sunday) taking the gold medal.
The men’s team will face Indonesia in the battle for the gold at 3 p.m. (4 p.m. Philippine time).
As of press time, Indonesia was undefeated after four games entering their game against Vietnam last Saturday night.
The women’s squad goes up against Malaysia at 9 a.m. (10 a.m. Philippine time) and like the men’s team, aims for a sweep of the tournament. Malaysia holds a 2-1 win-loss record as of press time and still has a shot at the gold with a win over Vietnam.
Both coaches, however, felt they played flat in the contest which they hope to address for their final game of the SEA Games.
“We really treated this game as preparation for tomorrow’s match against Indonesia,” said Gilas Pilipinas Men coach Chot Reyes. “Our focus was just to make sure to keep our level high. Unfortunately, we didn’t start off that way. It wasn’t the good start that we wanted.”
Gilas Women coach Pat Aquino said: “We played lackluster today. Siguro pagod na rin. For the past how many games, todo ‘yung mga bata. We try to adjust and take ‘yung mga kailangan naming pagbutihan against Malaysia.”
Ravena had 17 points (12 in the first half), seven rebounds, five assists, and two steals in the match-up. Roger Pogoy had a near double-double of nine points and 10 rebounds.
Clare Castro led Gilas Women with 15 points, as her team continued to wax hot from threes with 12 in the match.