MANILA, Philippines – Indonesia kept Gilas Pilipinas on its heels for the first 22 minutes, but all it did was delay the inevitable.
Gilas Pilipinas used a back-breaking third-quarter run to dispose of Indonesia, 97-70, and reach the championship match of the 2019 Southeast Asian Games at the Mall of Asia Arena on Monday, December 9.
Chris Ross, Matthew Wright, and Marcio Lassiter all found their groove from long distance in the second half as the Philippines set up a finals date with Thailand seeking to win a 13th straight gold medal.
Indonesia – coached by former Gilas Pilipinas mentor Rajko Toroman – gave the hosts a run for their own money after cutting its deficit to 37-43, but the Philippines went on a 35-8 tear to break the game wide open.
Ross hit 3 three-pointers in that stretch, Wright sank two, while Lassiter drilled in another triple as the Filipinos remained unbeaten in 4 games with a whopping average winning margin of 47.3 points.
Christian Standhardinger churned out 14 points, setting the tone for Gilas Pilipinas with 10 points in the opening quarter alone before Ross caught fire for 9 of his 11 points in their third-quarter assault.
Wright scattered 13 points, 8 assists, and 4 rebounds, Vic Manuel had 12 points, while June Mar Fajardo and Stanley Pringle added 9 points each in the win.
Juan Laurent Kokodeputra put up 20 points for Indonesia, which came knocking within 6 points, 37-43, thanks to back-to-back Kaleb Ramot Gemilang and Andakara Prastawa Dhyaksa three-pointers.
But Ross, who shied away from shooting in the first 3 games, took matters into his own hand with a pair of long bombs that sparked the 27-point loss.
The gold medal match is on Tuesday, December 10, at the same venue.– Rappler.com