Well-rested Gilas eyes finals berth

WHILE Gilas Pilipinas has punched in a spot in the crossover semifinals, the national side will be keenly watching the final day of group stage play of the 32nd Southeast Asian Games men's basketball when defending champion Indonesia plays title contender Thailand in Phnom Penh, Cambodia. Gilas Pilipinas’ Mike Phillips (RIGHT) battles for the rebound against a Singaporean player during the 32nd Southeast Asian Games men’s basketball in Phnom Penh, Cambodia. PHOTO BY RIO DELUVIOGet the latest newsdelivered to your inbox Sign up for The Manila Times’ daily newsletters By signing up with an email address, I acknowledge that I have read and agree to the Terms of Service and Privacy PolicyTimnas, bannered by three naturalized players led by former Terrafirma import Lester Prosper and Anthony Beane are playing the Thais led by Moses Morgan, Tyler Lamb, Freddie Lish and veteran big man Chanatip Jakrawan as of press time Sunday evening.Both Southeast Asian rivals entered the Sunday night showdown with identical 2-0 slates after registering victories over their Group B opponents in the preliminary stage.Gilas Pilipinas faces the Group B winner in the knockout crossover semifinals, which will begin today, May 15.The loser then, collides with surprise Group A pacesetter and host Cambodia in the other semifinal pairing.The victors in the knockout semis then advance to the gold medal round on Tuesday, May 16.The national squad finished its Group A assignment with a 2-1 record after smashing Malaysia by 45 points and clobbering Singapore by 60. Host Cambodia, bannered by six naturalized players, inflicted the Philippines' only loss in the tournament, a 79-68 decision in a hotly contested, tension-filled match last Thursday.While national coach Chot Reyes said they have moved forward since that stinging defeat, Gilas players will also have to find ways to win in the win-or-go-home semis match despite poor playing conditions.The outspoken national mentor has said his complaint on the playing court is really due to his concern for the players' welfare.In fact, TNT forward Calvin Oftana played just one game, before sustaining a grade 2 calf strain. The sweet-shooting forward has been ruled out for the rest of the tournament.

May 15, 2023 16:18 UTC

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