SEA Games

SBP sorry as Gilas Pilipinas’ SEA Games domination ends

Delfin Dioquino
SBP sorry as Gilas Pilipinas’ SEA Games domination ends

REIGN OVER. Gilas Pilipinas settles for silver for the first time since the 1989 SEA Games.


The SBP says it wasn’t able to give the Gilas Pilipinas teams ‘better support’ as three of the four squads it sent to the SEA Games in Vietnam failed to defend their gold medals

MANILA, Philippines – The Samahang Basketbol ng Pilipinas (SBP) took responsibility following Gilas Pilipinas’ letdown in the Southeast Asian Games in Vietnam that saw the team fall short of a 14th straight gold medal.

A cinch for the men’s basketball title for the last three decades, the Philippines settled for silver for the first time since 1989 after a shocking 81-85 loss to Indonesia on Sunday, May 22.

“We at the Samahang Basketbol ng Pilipinas share the disappointment of Filipino basketball fans and take full responsibility with the results of our 31st Southeast Asian Games,” SBP president Al Panlilio said in a statement.

Bannered by top PBA players June Mar Fajardo and Kiefer Ravena, Gilas Pilipinas got off to shaky start in its title-retention bid after narrowly escaping Thailand.

Although it handily beat Cambodia, Singapore, Vietnam, and Malaysia, the Philippines unraveled against a vastly improved Indonesia side that captured its first-ever men’s basketball gold in the SEA Games.

Indonesia sank 10 more three-pointers than Gilas Pilipinas and proved to be the better free throw shooting team as the Indonesians held off the Filipinos’ last-ditch comeback with some clutch foul shots.

“We apologize we fell short and we’re not able to give our teams better support they needed to retain the gold,” said Panlilio.

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It was not just Gilas Pilipinas which failed to defend its throne as Gilas Men 3×3 clinched bronze and Gilas Women 3×3 landed at fourth.

Only Gilas Women managed to keep their crown in Vietnam – a disappointing haul for the SBP after its teams swept all four basketball events in the 2019 SEA Games.

“There are no excuses and we’ve learned valuable lessons. We will bounce back and reclaim our spot to stay ahead,” Panlilio said.

Up next for Gilas Pilipinas is the third window of the FIBA World Cup Asian Qualifiers in June and the FIBA Asia Cup in July. –

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Delfin Dioquino

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.