Gilas Pilipinas still kings of SEABA

FIBA photo

The Philippine national men’s basketball team completed its dominant run to the 2017 SEABA Championship gold with a 97-64 rout of Indonesia on Thursday night at SMART-Araneta Coliseum.

Gilas Pilipinas won all of its six games with an average winning margin of 58.7 points to extend its tournament winning streak to 36 games dating back to 1998.

It was the Philippines eighth title in the biennial competition, the most by any country. The feat also formalized the Filipinos’ entry to the 2017 FIBA Asia Cup and qualifiers for the 2019 FIBA World Cup.

Andray Blatche spearheaded Gilas Pilipinas with 21 points and 10 rebounds. Jayson Castro added 14 points, seven rebounds and five assists as June Mar Fajardo chipped in 13 points and four boards.

With Castro and Blatche combining for 18 points in the first period, Gilas Pilipinas zoomed to a 34-14 edge after the opening frame.

But the Indonesians tried to put up a gallant stand against the Filipinos, starting the second period with a 7-2 run that brought Gilas Pilipinas’ lead down to 15 points.

The Filipinos took a 51-30 halftime lead, but Indonesia’s zone defense kept them from completely pulling away in the second half.

That was until Gilas Pilipinas launched a 19-6 run fueled by triples from Terrence Romeo and Matthew Wright that padded their lead to 31 points, 78-47.