SEA Games: Gilas Pilipinas nears gold, stifles Malaysia

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The Philippines sustained its unbeaten run in the 31s Southeast Asian Games on Saturday afternoon, dealing Malaysia an 87-44 beatdown at Thanh Tri Gymnasium in Hanoi to move closer to a 14th straight gold medal.

Gilas pretty much secures the championship—the Philippines’ 19th overall—if Indonesia bows to host Vietnam in the 7 p.m. contest.

Thirdy Ravena finished with 17 points, seven rebounds, and five assists in the Nationals’ fifth straight victory in the tournament.

The Philippines put on the heat late in the third quarter and kept its foot flat on the pedal until halfway through the final frame to forge a 76-36 edge that pretty much sealed the deal for the defending champions.

Roger Pogoy and Francis Lopez chipped in nine each in a scoring effort where each member of the squad was able to contribute.

A victory by the Perbasi later in the night sets up a virtual gold medal match between Indonesia and the Philippines, as both of them will be taking Sunday’s court sporting an identical 5-0 record.

The scores:

Philippines (87) – Ravena T. 17, Lopez 9, Pogoy 9, Go 8, Montalbo 6, Ravena K. 6, Wright 6, Tungcab 6, Tautua’a 6, Rosario 5, Fajardo 5, Navarro 4.

Malaysia (44) – Lee 8, Wee 8, Kuek 8, Wong 6, Tem 5, Liew WY 4, Chang 3, Lew WQ 2, Ong 0, Kwaan 0.

Quarterscores: 19-10, 39-22. 68-33, 87-44.