SEA Games 2023

Dramatic wins as Gilas Women, Gilas Men nip foes to reach 3×3 basketball finals

Delfin Dioquino

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Dramatic wins as Gilas Women, Gilas Men nip foes to reach 3×3 basketball finals

FINALS-BOUND. Afril Bernardino and Gilas Women celebrate after advancing to the 2023 SEA Games women's 3x3 basketball finals.

Chalinee Thirasupa/REUTERS

Gilas Women hold off a Cambodian side bannered by naturalized players, while Gilas Men stun Thailand in a gutsy come-from-behind victory

PHNOM PENH, Cambodia – Gilas Women and Gilas Men advanced to the Southeast Asian Games 3×3 basketball finals in dramatic fashion as they gutted out a pair of narrow wins at the Elephant Hall inside the Morodok Techo Sports Complex here on Sunday, May 7.

Afril Bernardino hit the game-winning layup with six seconds to spare to steer the Filipinas to a gutsy 21-20 win over a stunned Cambodian side that featured four naturalized players.

The hosts – bannered by foreign standouts Brittany Dinkins, Mariah Cooks, Kim Hanlon, and Meighan Sharee Simmons – fought back from a 17-20 deficit and scored 3 straight points to knot the score.

But Bernardino, who finished with 8 points, drove past WNBA draftee Simmons with time winding down to seal the victory that propelled the Philippines to the gold-medal duel against Vietnam.

Janine Pontejos also fired 8 points for Gilas Women, while Mikka Cacho and Jack Animam added 4 and 1 points, respectively.

Over in men’s action, Gilas Men climbed out of a 2-9 hole and leaned on a string of clutch buckets from Joseph Sedurifa to frustrate Thailand, 21-19.

Sedurifa unloaded 8 points, all coming inside the final four minutes as he knocked down four two-pointers in a 9-2 run that erased a 12-17 lead by the Thais.

With the game tied at 19-19 and the shot clock almost expiring, Sedurifa dialed from deep and sank the game-winner over the outstretched arms of 6-foot-8 big man Chanatip Jakrawan.

Joseph Eriobu chipped in 5 points for the Filipinos, who will face a Cambodian crew – led by naturalized players Darrin Dorsey, Brandon Peterson, and Sayeed Pridgett – that has yet to lose a game.

Almond Vosotros and Lervin Flores chipped in 4 points each for Gilas Men.

The finals are set at 1 pm for the women’s and 1:30 pm for the men’s on Sunday, Manila time. –

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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.