Gilas Pilipinas inched closer to its 13th straight gold medal after dispatching Indonesia, 97-70, in the semifinals of the Southeast Asian Games men's basketball competition Monday at the Mall of Asia Arena in Pasay City.
The Philippines will face Thailand Tuesday in the final. A win would be the Philippines' 18th overall SEA Games basketball title. The Philippines remained undefeated in the tournament to extend its SEA Games winning streak to 36.
Christian Standhardinger led the scoring with 14 points in just 14 minutes of play, to go with four rebounds and two assists. Matthew Wright delivered 13 points, four rebounds, and eight assists.
Vic Manuel also provided quality minutes, finishing with 12 points on 6-of-8 shooting. Chris Ross went 3-of-4 from deep en route to 11 points, alongside five rebounds and six assists.
Indonesia used a barrage of 3-pointers to rally in the third quarter but Ross, Wright, and Marcio Lassiter also caught fire from downtown to give Gilas a 33-point cushion at the end of the period.
The lead ballooned to as high as 36 points after a turnaround shot from June Mar Fajardo early in the fourth. Indonesia continued to shoot from the outside but struggled to get stops on the other end, enabling the home team to easily book its ticket to the finals.
"The thing about these kind of tournaments and games like this is that the more you play, the better teams have to scout you, the more chance they have to scout. And you get a coach like Rajko Toroman, he's gonna have his team thoroughly prepared, and they came out thoroughly prepared," said Gilas coach Tim Cone. "They knew who our shooters were, they had plans for our big men, they had plans for our ball screen, and they knew how to attack our defense."
Standhardinger scored 10 points in the first quarter alone to ensure that the Philippines came out on top even with a slim four-point lead. Gilas turned its defense up a notch in the second to hold Indonesia to just eight points and widen the gap to double-digits.
Juan Kokodiputra topped for Indonesia with 20 points highlighted by six of the team's 16 3-point shots. Abraham Grahita added 14 points, nine rebounds, and four assists.
PHILIPPINES 97 -- Standhardinger 14, Wright 13, Manuel 12, Ross 11, Pringle 9, Fajardo 9, Lassiter 7, Rosario 7, Aguilar 6, Slaughter 6, Ravena 2, Tenorio 1.
INDONESIA 70 -- Kokodiputra 20, Grahita 14, Dhyaksa 11, Joni 11, Gemilang 6, Sitorus 4, Oei 2, Kokasih 2, Lakudu 0, Wicaksono 0.
Quarters: 24-20, 39-28, 78-45, 97-70.
Prior to this game, Gilas Pilipinas won by an average winning margin of 54 points in the preliminary round.
Toroman, who lauded the Philippines' 31 assists, commented that this version of Gilas has much better chemistry than the team that competed in the FIBA World Cup four months ago.
Gold medal match vs. Thailand on December 10 (Tuesday) at the Mall of Asia Arena.