MANILA, Philippines – Ruthless Philippines reasserted its mastery over Indonesia in Day 2 of the FIBA Esports Open with another pair of dominant wins to rule the Southeast Asia Conference on Saturday, June 20.
With shooting guard Rial "Rial" Polog Jr showing the way, Team Pilipinas clobbered Indonesia by a whopping 67 points in Games 3 and 4 combined to go up 4-0 in their best-of-five affair.
Picking up where point guard Aljon "Shintarou" Cruzin left off, Polog Jr showed why he is a two-time NBA 2K Asia Tournament champion as he starred in the 66-34 Game 3 win and 79-44 Game 4 victory.
The first Filipino to become draft eligible in the pioneering NBA 2K League, Polog Jr imposed his will on Indonesia with 30 points and 2 steals in Game 3 and 28 points, 5 steals, and 4 assists in Game 4.
Polog Jr recorded a near-perfect performance in Game 4 as he sank 11 of his 12 shots and 6 of his 7 three-pointers, with his only miss coming in the dying seconds.
"We've been told that we should show no mercy and we should give our best from the first to the fourth quarter," Polog Jr said in Filipino.
Cruzin, Team Pilipinas' Day 1 hero, still made his presence felt with 7 points, 15 assists, and 2 steals in Game 3 and 17 points, 7 assists, and 4 steals in Game 4.
Power forward Clark "Clark" Banzon finished Day 2 with 22 points, 15 rebounds, and 4 steals, small forward Custer "Aguila" Galas had 19 points and 3 steals, while center Philippe "Izzo" Alcaraz Herrero IV put up 22 points and 7 rebounds.
Although the Philippines officially won the series – averaging a winning margin of 32 points – it will still play Indonesia in Game 5 on Sunday, June 21. – Rappler.com
Delfin Dioquino dreamt of being a PBA player, but he did not have the skills to make it. So he pursued the next best thing to being an athlete – to write about them. He took up journalism at the University of Santo Tomas and joined Rappler as soon as he graduated in 2017.