ANOTHER Smart Gilas original led the Philippine men’s basketball team to victory, Mac Baracael powering the squad to an 80-52 victory over Indonesia on Thursday in the Seaba men’s championship at the 700 Year Stadium in Chang Mai, Thailand.
Baracael, Alaska’s rookie standout in the PBA and a late addition to the Seaba team, finished with 15 points including eight in the first to equal Indonesia’s total output for the quarter. The Nationals took a commanding 21-8 lead entering the second.
With its second victory in the tournament, the Philippines took a share of the lead with Thailand, which took a bye on Thursday following a 73-72 nail-biting victory over Malaysia on Wednesday.
Garvo Lanete had 14 points for the Philippines, which is looking to top the event and claim a spot in the Fiba-Asia Cup set September 14 to 22 in Tokyo.
Smart Gilas I holdovers Marcus Douthit and Chris Tiu, who led the Philippines to a 96-58 rout over Singapore last Wednesday, had 13 each including a combined 15 points in the first half that saw Gilas build a 41-25 lead.
The Philippines committed 13 turnovers, two less than the 15 Indonesia’s, but the coaching staff led by Jong Uichico appeared unhappy with the number of errors.
“80-52 a lil sloppy on the turnovers but good win vs indonesia still,” tweeted assistant coach Josh Reyes.
The Philippines will next face Malaysia, fresh from an 82-75 upset over Singapore also on Thursday.
Malaysia is tied with Singapore for third place with 1-2 win-loss cards while Indonesia, which is playing in the tournament without its top players Mario Wuysang, Rony Gunawan and Amin Priantono, remained winless in two matches.
PHILIPPINES 80 — Baracael 15, Lanete 14, Douthit 13, Tiu 13, Marcelo 11, Thoss 8, Co 2, Monfort 2, Ramos 2, Hermida 0, Tenorio 0.
INDONESIA 52 — Ahmad 13, Sitepu 13, Siregar 8, Wisnu 7, Susanto 4, Liogu 3, Handoyo 2, Michel 2, Gunawan 0.
Quarterscores: 21-8; 41-25; 59-37; 80-52.