MANILA -- She may not have shared quality minutes with her more illustrious 'Gilas' teammates but Andrea Tongco of Barangay Macalaban, Cagayan de Oro City became part of Team Filipinas that finally won the gold medal in the Southeast Asian Games women's 5x5 basketball competition.
This, as the Philippines swept the men and women's basketball finals on Tuesday night at the Mall of Asia (MOA) Arena in Pasay City against perennial gold contender Thailand.
The Filipinas mauled the Thailand side, 91-71 even with the Thais' advantage on the backcourt for having Women's NBA player Tiffany Bias in their roster.
"Gamay lang iya playing time sa final pero maka proud kaayo nga part siya (Tongco) sa team nga nag-gold sa SEA Games in a record-breaking manner," said Oro townmate Esna Banuag who helped in the smooth conduct of the SEAG.
Both undefeated in the elimination round, Gilas Women grabbed the upperhand early, 18-7 but Thailand retaliated to force a 43-all deadlock late in the second quarter.
A blistering 9-0 run, however, propelled the Filipinas for good up to the final half.
Jack Animan sparkled with 21 points alongside five rebounds and two blocks for Gilas Women.
Team skipper Janine Pontejos had 16 points, 5 rebounds, 1 assist, and 4 steals, while Afril Bernardino came up with a double-double (10 points and 14 boards) along with five assists and two blocks.
Star point guard Tiffany Bias tallied 15 markers, four rebounds, four assists, three steals, and one block for Thailand, which settled for the silver.
The Men's Gilas had June Mar Fajardo and 6 others (Standhardinger, Tenorio, Wright, Manuel, Pringle) in double-digit numbers to rout Thailand, 115-81 and cruised to their 14-th straight title and 18th overall.
It was, however, the first ever gold finish by the Filipinas in the regional basketball for Southeast Asian countries.