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Gilas Pilipinas Defeated by Host Cambodia in Southeast Asian Games 2023
GILAS Pilipinas faced a dangerous challenge in its quest to reclaim the Southeast Asian Games basketball gold medal. On Thursday, they were defeated 79-68 by the host country, Cambodia, in front of a boisterous crowd in the Elephant Hall 2 of the Morodok Techo National Stadium.
The Filipino squad fell by as many as 21 points and failed to come back against a Cambodian club that was blustered by the presence of six naturalized players. As a result, Cambodia defeated the Philippines for the first time in the SEA Games basketball competition history.
The home team’s strong performance catapulted them to the top of Group A with a 2-0 record. Meanwhile, the Philippines has a balanced 1-1 history but still has a good chance of progressing to the next round. They may advance to the semi-finals if they defeat Singapore in their last group-stage encounter on Saturday. After that, each group’s top two teams will go.
Singapore failed to win after two games, and Malaysia, whom the Gilas squad trounced in their first game with a score of 94-49, are now 0-2 and 1-1, respectively.
Darrinray Dorsey led Cambodia in scoring with 22 points, and Sayeed Pridgett chipped in with 17 points. The Cambodians took an early lead because of their strong play, leading 15-8 after the first quarter and 47-31 at the half. At the break, Dorsey had 16 points, and Pridgett had 13.
Christian Standhardinger had a double-double for Gilas with 14 points and 11 rebounds. Despite suffering in the first half owing to the extreme heat at the arena, Justin Brownlee finished with 10 points. Chris Newsome also scored in double figures, with 11 points.
Gilas showed tenacity at the start of the third quarter when Brownlee rediscovered his form and ignited the team’s offensive. His three-pointer cut the margin to 50-40. While the Cambodians quickly responded with an 11-0 run, setting their most significant advantage of the game at 61-40.
Notably, the host country only used seven players and six naturalized citizens.
Gilas had already suffered a blow before the game when Calvin Oftana was diagnosed with a Grade 2 calf strain he incurred during the play against Malaysia. So often, I will miss the rest of the biannual competition.
With identical 1-0 records, incumbent champions Indonesia and Thailand presently share first place in Group B. Laos and Vietnam are equally winless with a 0-1 record.
Dorsey 22, Pridgett 17, Lopes 13, Peterson 11, Henderson 11, Morgan 2 for Cambodia (79). Standhardinger 14, Newsome 11, Brownlee 10, Perez 9, Tolentino 5, Ganuelas-Rosser 4, Lastimosa 4, Lassiter 4, Phillips 4, Mason 3, Ross 0.
In conclusion, Gilas Pilipinas faced a stiff battle in their pursuit of basketball gold in the Southeast Asian Games, falling to host country Cambodia 79-68. Despite this defeat, the Philippine squad has a good chance of progressing to the next round, and their last group-stage encounter against Singapore will be critical. Let us band together and support Gilas as they strive for success.
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