12 - 18
May 2017
11 Andray Blatche (PHI)
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Philippines obtain SEABA's lone ticket to FIBA Asia Cup 2017

MANILA (SEABA Championship 2017) - The Philippines formalized their entry to the FIBA Asia Cup 2017 after they gave a sound beating to Indonesia on the final day of the SEABA Championship 2017.

#GilasPilipinas #PUSO #SEABA2017 #CHAMPIONS

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Gilas Pilipinas outclassed the athletic and motivated Indons, 97-64, to win their fifth SEABA Championship title in the last six editions. Things were close in the first five minutes of the game, but the Filipinos got into a run late in the first to open up a 20-point lead heading into the second period, and they never looked back.

Coach Chot Reyes's wards did their homework in this one, limiting Indonesia's outside shooting while also controlling the boards and continuing to punish the smaller Indons in the paint. Andray Blatche saved his best for last in this competition, scoring 21 points, grabbing 10 rebounds and hitting 4 three-pointers. Jayson Castro, likewise, had his best game of the tournament with 14 points, 7 rebounds and 5 assists.

Indonesia were heading into this face-off undefeated, but they knew that they'd have to play a near perfect game to stick with the home team. Needless to say, their shooting was just not up to snuff in this encounter. Usually prolific guys like Abraham Grahita and naturalized player Jamarr Johnson struggled here, combining for just 12 points on 5-of-16 field goal shooting. The Indons sink to second place, but they are confident they can do better in the coming SEA Games in Kuala Lumpur. Arki Wisnu paced them with 11 points off the bench.

In the day's first game, Malaysia closed out their campaign on a bright note, beating Myanmar, 96-71. Malaysia came out guns blazing in this one, leading by a dozen after the first period, 18-6, but Myanmar surprisingly kept in step and trailed by just 13 at the half. In the end, however, coach Goh Cheng Huat's wards' talent proved to be too much.

Liaw Chee Huei spearheaded the victors with 25 points, 7 rebounds, 5 assists and 2 steals, while Aung Wana top-scored for Myanmar with an eye-popping 31 points. Also impressing for Malaysia were Chin Zhih Shin and Heng Yee Tong, who scored 22 and 12 points respectively. Malaysia ended their campaign on a three-game win streak, which gives them great momentum as they hope to finish on the podium at the SEA Games in August.

Meanwhile, it was a nail-biting match between Vietnam and Singapore in the second matchup of the day, with the the latter prevailing, 70-60. Vietnam had a good start in this encounter, even leading at halftime, 29-26.

Vietnam actually controlled majority of the game, entering the final quarter still ahead, but they could not close out the more experienced Singaporeans, who drew 15 points each from Leon Kwek, Larry Liew and Delvin Goh. The 2.02m Goh padded his stats even more with 10 rebounds and 2 rejections. On the other end, Han Minh Trieu was Vietnam's best player with 17 points and 3 three-pointers.

The Philippines join the roster of qualified teams for the FIBA Asia Cup 2017, which includes Gulf champions Qatar, West Asia teams Iran, Jordan, Syria and Iraq, Oceania squads Australia and New Zealand and hosts Lebanon. They also officially join the Asian Qualifiers for the FIBA Basketball World Cup 2019, which begin in November.


Malaysia beat Myanmar, 96-71

Singapore beat Vietnam, 70-60

Philippines beat Indonesia, 97-64