GILAS Pilipinas will return to the Fiba Asia Cup after running over Indonesia, 97-64, in the finals of the Southeast Asian Basketball Association championships at the Mall of Asia Arena last night.
The Philippines cruised to its sixth straight win and just like in their previous five victories--which had an average winning margin of 63.8--the home team was never threatened even with the presence of naturalized Indonesian Jammar Johnson and US-born Arki Wisnu.
Indonesia, which also won its first five games, was expected to give the Philippines its stiffest challenge and it managed to do so, in the first few minutes.
Andray Blatche, the naturalized Filipino, was named the Best Player of the game as he had 21 points on a 4 of 7 shooting, and added 10 rebounds. Jayson Castro also added 14 points and seven rebounds.
“The fans have been amazing, now it’s time for the young guns to take the next step,” Blatche said in a post-game interview. Blatche said he brought his mom, brother and close friend over for the tournament.
Published in the SunStar Cebu newspaper on May 19, 2017.
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