<
>

Thailand not looking ahead to potential finals matchup against Gilas

play
Wright and Lassiter's outburst leads Gilas past Myanmar (1:31)

Matthew Wright and Marcio Lassiter combined for eight 3-pointers as Gilas Pilipinas easily dispatched Myanmar 136-67. (1:31)

Thailand national coach Chris Daleo knows his team will be the underdog should they reach the Southeast Asian Games men's basketball gold medal round.

But Thailand will have to take care of business first in the semifinals where they play Vietnam on Monday.

"Certainly, we want to get up there, but personally, I've set three goals: The goal for my club, which is to win in our pool, and that's been good. Second goal is advance to the semis, and third goal is obviously win the gold," Daleo told ESPN5.

Thailand swept Group B by beating Indonesia, Cambodia and Malaysia in the preliminary stage.

Gilas Pilipinas, as expected, swept Group A by clobbering Singapore, Vietnam and Myanmar and won by an average of 54 points.

"The Philippines, they are doing their thing. And I'll be honest, I can't get there (gold medal game) unless I get past one more team so we have to do what we do, do our stuff with what we've been taught," Daleo said.

Thai-American Tyler Lamb is Daleo's chief offensive weapon.

The former UCLA and Long Beach State alum is no doubt, the heart and soul of this Thailand side that nearly upset the Philippines during the 2017 SEA Games.

The 28-year-old Lamb has toiled in the Southeast Asian region for the last five years, winning the 2017 ABL Heritage Import MVP, along with an ABL title that same year with the Hong Kong Eastern Long Lions.

Daleo likes what the athletic and sweet-shooting Lamb brings to the team.

"Tyler is a veteran. He has been a fantastic teammate and he's been doing what I have asked him to do," said Daleo, who has been a regular fixture in Thailand basketball as the Hi-Tech Bangkok coach.

But Daleo said that Thailand is more than just Lamb's team, citing the desire of every Thai player to contribute to the national team's quest for a SEA Games title.

"A lot of these guys have been with me in Thailand, so there's a certain comfort level there. And there's not a single disgruntled Thai player, but everybody is trying to understand their role and wants to win for Thailand," he added.

Lamb expects a competitive semifinal match against Vietnam, which will be relying a lot on Vietnamese-Americans Christopher Dierker and Justin Young.

"We just have to play our basketball and I think we will be fine. All respect to Vietnam and I'm sure it will be a good game," said Lamb, who is averaging 17.3 points, 4.0 assists and 3.3 rebounds for Mono Vampire Basketball Club in the 2020 ABL season.

But Lamb is also confident that the Thais can reach the gold medal game, where they look forward to facing the host country.

"They (the Philippines) have a lot of talent and experience with the group of guys they brought to this SEA Games and I think it will be a good test for us to see where we stand," he added.

"I expect it to be a really fun match and there's no doubt about it if we are to win this gold medal game, we will need to play our best basketball. With that being said, I have full confidence in our group of guys to win the gold. That's why we came here. We didn't come for second or third place, we play to win."