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MANILA, Philippines – After rolling past Malaysia in its 32nd Southeast Asian Games opener, Gilas Pilipinas will be put to the test in its second assignment when it faces host Cambodia on Thursday, May 11, at the Morodok Techno National Stadium in Phnom Penh.
Both teams are coming off lopsided victories as the Filipinos manhandled the Malaysians by 45 points, 94-49, while Cambodia crushed Singapore by 25, 85-60.
Expect fireworks in this matchup as Gilas Pilipinas battles a Cambodian squad bannered by naturalized players Sayeed Pridgett, Brandon Peterson, and Darrin Dorsey – the same players who captured the 3×3 crown against the Gilas Men last Sunday, May 7.
Aside from the trio, the Philippines should also watch out for Cambodian-American standouts Oscar Lopez and Darius Henderson, who dropped 19 and 18 points, respectively, in Cambodia’s dominant win over Singapore.
“They are a tough team,” said Philippine team coach Chot Reyes. “You saw the three guys in the 3×3. They have another three. They have like six naturalized players. They are going to be a handful.”
“We have to be able to adjust and pivot during the game,” added Reyes. “We have very little knowledge about their games as a team. We have some information as individuals, but as a team, very little. It’s really a matter of how we can adapt. Our adaptability is going to be tested.”
Nonetheless, look for the Philippines’ lone naturalized player Justin Brownlee, who hardly broke a sweat against Malaysia, as well as Brandon Ganuelas-Rosser, to take care of business for the Filipinos as they continue their gold-medal redemption bid in the SEA Games.
Brownlee racked up 11 points, 4 rebounds, 2 steals, and 1 block in just over 15 minutes in his SEA Games debut for Gilas Pilipinas, while Ganuelas-Rosser scored a team-best 15 points.
Game time is 6 pm, Manila time. – Rappler.com