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MANILA, Philippines – In a shocking turn of events, Samahang Basketbol ng Pilipinas (SBP) chairman emeritus Manny V. Pangilinan blasted his own federation minutes after Gilas Pilipinas lost to a Cambodia side full of naturalized players, 79-68, at the 2023 Southeast Asian (SEA) Games on Thursday, May 11.
The basketball patron widely known as “MVP” did not hold back on Twitter, saying that Gilas had a “disgraceful game” and that the result was “an ignominious defeat which will be etched deeply in infamy.”
“SBP – what happened?” Pangilinan pondered online.
On top of facing a bevy of naturalized Cambodians, Gilas misfired all night long, with lone naturalized Filipino Justin Brownlee being held to just 10 points on 3-of-13 shooting and 5 rebounds with no assists in 22 minutes of action.
Fil-German big man Christian Standhardinger was the lone Gilas player who made a positive impact, tallying a 14-point, 11-rebound double-double on a 7-of-12 clip in the lopsided affair that saw host Cambodia lead by as many as 21 points before settling for an 11-point win.
Tempers even flared late in the game, as Cambodia national team head coach Harry Savaya seemingly added insult to injury with a last-minute timeout despite already securing the win.
Gilas head coach Chot Reyes kept his post-game response short regarding the incident, essentially saying actions speak louder than words.
Gilas still has a clear shot for a return to the gold medal match, nonetheless, as a win over Singapore on Saturday, May 13, will arrange for the Philippines a knockout semifinal. – Rappler.com