SINGAPORE – The Gilas cadets provided the final gold in the Philippine coffer on Monday as the country finished sixth at the end of its campaign in the 28th Southeast Asian Games.
Mac Belo scored 22 points to lift the men’s basketball team to a 72-64 win over Indonesia at the OCBC Arena for the Filipino delegation’s 29th gold medal on the final day of competition in this year’s biennial meet.
The total gold output matched the same number of gold medals the country won in the 2013 edition of the event in Myanmar, although the country ended up a notch higher from its previous seventh place finish.
Competitions in volleyball, water polo, and badminton cap off the meet prior to its closing ceremonies on Tuesday night at the National Stadium, although there will be no more Philippine participation in all three events.
In all, the Philippines finished with a 29-36-66 gold-silver-bronze output.
Hours before Gilas cadets took home the gold, the unheralded sepak takraw team of Jason Huerte, Emmanuel Escote, and Rheyjey Ortouste settled for the silver medal after losing the the men’s doubles finals against Myanmar, 20-22, 21-13, 21-16.
Badminton salvaged a bronze on the final day of competitions for Filipino athletes as Ronel Estanislao and Philip Joper Escueta lost to an Indonesian pair in the men’s doubles semis, 21-14, 21-12.
Ricky Espinola and David Pelino won the bronze in men’s doubles in squash after reaching the semifinal round where they lost to Indonesia, 11-8, 11-3.
Perlas Pilipinas beat Singapore, 82-72, to settle for fourth place in women’s basketball competition, marking the first time in the last eight years the team failed to make a podium finish.
As expected, Thailand took the overall title with a 93-83-68 haul, highlighting its campaign by bagging the gold in men’s football by blanking Myanmar, 3-0, also on Monday night.
The Thais though are not yet through as they are still set to vie for the men’s volleyball gold and women’s badminton singles gold on Tuesday.
In its successful staging of the Games, host Singapore finished second in the medal tally with an 83-73-102 output followed by Vietnam (73-52-60), Malaysia (60-55-66), and Indonesia (45-58-74).
Watch as Philippine flag is shown on giant screen and national anthem played at OCBC Arena after Gilas cadets receive their gold medals: