THE Gilas Cadets defended the Philippines' Southeast Asian (SEA) Games men's basketball gold medal by overcoming a late rally from Indonesia, 72-64, in their finals game held at the OCBC Arena Hall 1 in Singapore Monday evening.
The Pinoys earlier demolished Indonesia in their elimination game last week with an 81-52 rout but their rematch in the finals was a different story.
The Tab Baldwin-coached Gilas Cadets led by as much as 14 in the first half and came in to the final period with an 11-point advantage over the Indonesian squad.
But Indonesia managed to trim the deficit to three, 56-59, after the Filipinos struggled to convert on their shots scoring only one point in the first five minutes of the final period. The Indons also hounded the ball handlers of Gilas Cadets forcing the latter to commit several costly turnovers.
But Ravena's defensive play proved to be the biggest momentum-swing in the final quarter after intercepting an ill-advised pass from Indonesia and throwing it down in transition to extend the lead to five, 61-56. The crucial stop from Ravena was followed up with the another defensive play from Gilas Cadets this time from Marcus Douthit who blocked Indonesia’s RonyGunawan en-route to a Troy Rosario basket extending the lead to seven, 63-56.
Indonesia tried to fight back but they resorted to sending the Gilas Cadets to the charity stripe.
Gilas Cadets then sealed the deal after Mark Belo, Ravena and Rosario combined for nine of 10 shooting from the foul line in the waning moments of the game.
Belo led the charge for Gilas cadets with 22 points while Ravena and Rosario added 12 and 11, respectively. Sandy Kurniawan scored team-high for Indonesia with 16.
With the victory, Philippines has added another feather in its cap by winning 17 out of the past 18 SEA Games basketball tournaments.