THE gold medal came easy for Smart Gilas-Pilipinas in Thailand as it pounded the host, 74-52, to complete a four-game sweep of the Seaba championship in Chiang Mai Saturday.
Behind the outside snippings of Chris Tiu and Garvo Lanete, the Nationals raced to a 25-8 lead early in the second quarter and never looked back on the way to the rout.
By topping the five-day meet, the Nationals earned the right to represent the region in the Fiba-Asia Cup otherwise known as the Stankovic Cup this September in Tokyo, Japan. Smart Gilas is bracketed in Group A together with China, Lebanon, Macau, and the qualifier from the Central Asia Basketball Association (CABA).
Backstopped by three Alaska players in L,A Tenorio, Sonny Thoss, and Mac Baracael, the Nationals, coached by Jong Uichico and Josh Reyes, won their four-game assignment by a winning margin of 30 points.
“Gold medal, baby,” hollered Reyes in the team’s twitter account @SmartGilas.
“Gilas wins gold. Philippines still king of SEA basketball,” said Tiu in his own Twitter account @Chris_Tiu.
Smart-Gilas demolished Singapore in its debut, 96-58, routed Indonesia, 80-52, and crushed Malaysia, 85-50, going into its showdown with Thailand in the battle between two unbeaten teams.
The Thais were handled by Joe `Jellybean’ Bryant, father of NBA superstar Kobe Bryant.