GILAS Pilipinas coach Chot Reyes finally called not just one, but two timeouts – the first as early as late in the first quarter – on Saturday night after not calling any against Myanmar on opening night.
That signaled that slightly improved competition the Philippines faced, although still not enough to give a scare to the national team as it coasted to a 113-66 victory over Singapore in Day Two of the Southeast Asian Basketball Association Championship at the Smart-Araneta Coliseum.
The Filipino dribblers again erected an early sizeable lead that they sustained throughout the game, but encountered some more resistance than against Myanmar, which they demolished by 107 points.
Calvin Abueva again provided a huge spark off the bench as he fired 16 points to lead the team anew, along with five boards, and three assists in just 17 minutes.
Four more players scored in double digits, while four more added at least eight points each a only Jayson Castro didn’t register in the scoring column for the team, missing his only shot and dishing out five assists, one board, one and one steal in 16 minutes as a starter.
The balanced effort trumped their opponents’ best effort as the Singaporeans suffered a second straight defeat.
“Singapore is a much better team than what we faced last night,” Reyes admitted. “Maybe that’s why you saw us playing more deliberate that we did last time.”
Gilas next faces winless Malaysia on Sunday night.
“We wanted to beat our hustle stats from last night today,” he added. “But I don’t think we did it. We had a very poor second half—hustle-wise.”
Larry Liew led five Singaporeans in double figures with 14 points built around four triples for a team that put up its best fight in the third quarter, where Gilas only outscored them by four points, 26-22.
Despite seeing some room for improvement, Gilas did more than enough to coast to the victory, building a lead that grew as many as 51 points, 113-62, late in the payoff period
PHILIPPINES 113 - Abueva 16, Blatche 14, Maliksi 14, Wright 13, Fajardo 11, Romeo 9, Pogoy 9, Rosario 9, Almazan 8, Jalalon 6, Aguilar 4, Castro William 0
SINGAPORE 66 - Liew 14, Wong 12, Kwek 11, Ng HB 11, D. Goh 10, J. Ng 4, Cheok 2, Lim JY 1, Chia 1, J. Lim 0.
Quarterscores: 31-9, 63-29, 89-51, 113-66