SMART Gilas-Pilipinas old-timers led a game-turning second quarter assault that keyed an 85-50 win over Malaysia on Friday and brought them a win away from clinching the Seaba championship at the 700 Year Stadium in Chang Mai, Thailand.
Marcus Douthit, Mac Baracael, Chris Tiu and Aldrech Ramos scored 22 of the Nationals’ 28 points in the second period while Gilas' defense held the Malaysians to only eight as they stormed to a commanding 43-16 lead at the half.
The Nationals sustained the rout in the third with the Philippines ending up with a 65-28 lead.
The Nationals can wrap up the the title in a game against host Thailand at 5 p.m. Manila time regardless the result of the Indonesia-Thailand match being played at post time. The Thais are also unbeaten.
The Filipinos and Thais are the only teams still in contention for the lone Southeast Asian berth in the Fiba-Asia Cup, formerly known as the Stankovic Cup.
Douthit had 11 points and grabbed a team-high 10 rebounds, Baracael added nine while Ramos, part of the Gilas program during its early formation, had eight points. Tiu finished with four points, all in the pivotal second.
Garvo Lanete led the Filipino cagers’ balanced scoring attack with 14 points. Emman Monfort and Alaska cagers LA Tenorio and Sonny Thoss each had eight points. Monfort capped his scoring heroics by burying two three-pointers during that decisive second-quarter blast.
All players fielded in by coach Jong Uichico scored. In contrast, no Malaysians finished in double figures.
PHILIPPINES (85) --Lanete 14, Douthit 11, Baracael 9, Monfort 8, Ramos 8, Tenorio 8, Thoss 8, Co 5, Hermida 4, Tiu 4.
MALAYSIA (50) --Choo 8, Tong 7, Ng 6, Loh 6, Chong 6, Ong 5, Kuok 5, Gan 3, Kwaan 3, Ng 2, Yeo 0, Chin 0.
Quarterscores: 15-8, 43-16, 65-28, 85-50.