Gilas Pilipinas Men are again the best basketball team in the region after ruling the 32nd Southeast Asian Games, capturing the gold medal by defeating host country Cambodia, 80-69, Tuesday at the Morodok Techo Stadium.
Justin Brownlee top-scored anew with 23 points on top of seven rebounds and four assists. Chris Newsome also had a strong offensive showing with 16 points on an efficient 7-for-12 clip while also adding four assists. Four other Gilas players scored at least nine points as they avenged their earlier loss to Cambodia in the group phase.
After a tightly-contested first quarter, Gilas took control by finding their offense and clamping down on their opponents. They took a 64-51 lead after three quarters.
However, Cambodia started the final frame on an 8-0 run to cut the lead to five before CJ Perez and Brownlee restored order with a pair of much-needed triples. Gilas was able to keep Cambodia at arms’ length thanks to timely buckets and key defensive stops.
Gilas Pilipinas Men’s redemption bid for the gold is now complete after falling to Indonesia in the last edition of the SEA Games. It is the Philippines’ 19th gold medal in SEA Games basketball.