SEA Games 2023

Gilas opens SEA Games campaign with 45-point rout of Malaysia

Martin Mendoza

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Gilas opens SEA Games campaign with 45-point rout of Malaysia

BIG DEBUT. Mike Phillips delivers all-around numbers in his first game for Gilas Pilipinas.


Gilas Pilipinas, which is looking to reclaim its throne in the Southeast Asian Games, kicks off its campaign with an easy 94-49 win against Malaysia

MANILA, Philippines – Gilas Pilipinas opened its title redemption bid in the 32nd Southeast Asian Games on a high note as it cruised to an easy 94-49 win over Malaysia at the Morodok Techno National Stadium in Phnom Penh on Tuesday, May 9.

In his debut in a Gilas Pilipinas men’s 5×5 basketball uniform, Brandon Ganuelas-Rosser dropped a team-high 15 points, while naturalized player Justin Brownlee had 11 points, 4 rebounds, 2 steals, and 1 block in only 15 minutes and 29 seconds of play.

Arvin Tolentino also breached double-digit scoring with 10 points, while La Salle standout Mike Phillips delivered an impressive all-around showing of 9 points, 15 rebounds, 5 steals, and 2 blocks in his national team debut.

The Philippines, which is looking to reclaim its throne after settling for a silver-medal finish last year, wasted no time in imposing its dominance over Malaysia as it immediately built a huge 33-12 lead at the end of the first quarter. 

Gilas Pilipinas then continued to show no mercy in the second period, outscoring Malaysia, 25-10, to extend its 21-point advantage to 36, 58-22, at halftime.

“We challenged the first group to get us off to a good start. It’s really their responsibility to start us off well,” Gilas Pilipinas coach Chot Reyes told reporters after the game.

Ganuelas-Rosser set the tone early for the Philippines, unloading 11 of his 15 points on 4-of-5 shooting in the first two quarters alone.

The Philippines never looked back the rest of the way, even pushing its lead to as many as 50 points, 82-32, off a layup by incoming Ateneo rookie Mason Amos late in the third frame.

Like Phillips, Gilas Pilipinas veteran Marcio Lassiter scored 9 points on a perfect 3-of-3 clip from deep, while Amos, CJ Perez, and Adamson star Jerom Lastimosa all added 8 points each.

Yi Hou Wong was the lone bright spot for the Malaysians in the one-sided affair, finishing with 15 points on 5-of-9 shooting and 7 rebounds.

Gilas Pilipinas shoots for a 2-0 start when it collides with host Cambodia, which has multiple naturalized players in its 12-man lineup, on Thursday, May 11 at 6 pm, Manila time. 

The Scores

Philippines 94 – Ganuelas-Rosser 15, Brownlee 11, Tolentino, 19, Phillips 9, Lassiter 9, Amos 8, Perez 8, Lastimosa 8, Newsome 7, Oftana 5, Standhardinger 4, Ross 0.  

Malaysia 49 – Wong 15, Ting 7, Ooi 7, Kuek 6, Chang 4, Lee 3, Heng 3, Mahadevan 2, De 2, Liew 0, Ong 0, Wee 0.

Quarters: 33-12, 58-22, 84-38, 94-49. 

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