SINGAPORE – Almond Vosotros' confidence is at an all-time high after the Philippines beat Thailand in a tough semifinal outing in the 28th Southeast Asian Games.
Taking advantage of open shots given him by Thailand's zone defense, the former La Salle star made six of his 11 three-pointers to finish with 18 points in the Gilas cadets' 80-75 win.
“Sobrang taas talaga ng kumpyansa ko this game,” he said later.
Head coach Tab Baldwin later paid Vosotros the ultimate compliment, saying the Philippines could not have pulled off the close win had it not been for the sharp-shooting guard's game-long heroics.
“Almond came in and really lit it up with his shooting. We needed that. We know that the shots will be there. Fortunately, he hit them," said the American-New Zealander coach.
"If he didn’t, we wouldn’t have gotten out of this thing,” added Baldwin.
Vosotros sparked a comeback by the Philippines from a 10-point deficit at halftime and, at one point, gave the Gilas cadets the lead in the fourth quarter.
The former De La Salle Green Archer admitted he, too, had a hard time against Thailand.
“Nagulat ako sa defense nila,” Vosotros, who is set to join the coming PBA rookie draft, said. “Parang ‘di sila napapagod. Start pa lang, solid na ‘yung defense nila.”
“We committed too much fouls kaya hindi kami makadepensa.”
Vosotros said it was imperative he made his outside shots.
“Nag-defense sila ng 1-2-2 all the way. Kailangan talagang ma-make namin ‘yung shots namin. Kung hindi, hindi mao-open ‘yung mga big guys like (Marcus) Douthit and (Troy) Rosario.”
Vosotros said the grit the team showed in the Thailand game will help them in the gold medal match.
“Sobrang close ‘yung game kaya hindi kami nag-give up dahil kailangan naming manalo para sa bayan,” said Vosotros.