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    Indonesia ends long Philippine reign as king of SEA Games basketball

    May 22, 2022
    June Mar Fajardo carried Gilas on his back during the gold-medal game.
    June Mar Fajardo carried Gilas on his back during the gold-medal game.
    PHOTO: Jerome Ascano

    HANOI – Indonesia pulled off a king-sized upset in the 31st Southeast Asian Games men’s basketball final on Sunday, stunning Gilas Pilipinas, 85-81, on Sunday before a stunned fans at the Thanh Tri Gymnasium.

    The Indonesians banked on a collective effort led by naturalized player Marques Bolden, Derrick Michael Xzavierro, and Damar Abraham Gratiwa to take an unlikely gold medal and end the Philippines’ 33-year reign in men’s basketball.

    Kiefer Ravena, Gilas versus Indonesia

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    The last time the Philippines lost in a SEA Games basketball was in 1989 when an all-amateur team settled for the silver against host Malaysia in Kuala Lumpur.

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    This all-pro Philippine team asembled by Chot Reyes played catch-up all afternoon and found itself in dire straits after Bolden, playing in only his second game of the tournament, scored on a putback to give Indonesia an 81-76 lead with 40.8 seconds left.

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      Matthew Wright made a three-pointer to cut the deficit to three. But after Gilas forced a turnover, Wright missed a contested shot allowing Grahita to complete the victory by sinking two free throws with 6.1 seconds left.

      To put the magnitude of the loss in its proper perspective, the Philippines has won 13 successive basketball gold medals since 1991, except for the two times the sport wasn't played in 2005 in Manila [when the Philippines' basketball federation was suspended by Fiba] and 2009 in Laos.

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      Indonesia beats Gilas

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      Wright carried rthe fight for Gilas with 23 points, four rebounds, and four assists, while June Mar Fajardo added 20 points and Thirdy Ravena 17 in what was easily one of the biggest reversals in Southeast Asian basketball.

      Gilas, as in previous games, struggled from behind the arc converting just three of its 16 shots from the outside.

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      [See Chot accepts blame for 'Horror in Hanoi']

      Bolden had 18 points and 10 rebounds, while Grahita nailed key shots all game to finish with 17 points. Brandon Jawato had 11 points, and Yeshe Goantara Agassi had 11 points on 3-of-4 shooting from threes for the Indonesia team, which has Milos Pejic as head coach but with former Gilas coach Rajko Toroman as part of the staff.

      Chot Reyes after Gilas loss to Indonesia.

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      The scores:

      Indonesia 85 – Bolden 18, Grahita 17, Xzavierro 14, Jawato 11, Agassi 11, Andakara 8, Juan 5, Yudha 1, Vincent 0, Wisnu 0.

      Philippines 81 – Wright 23, Fajardo 20, T. Ravena 17, Rosario 12, K. Ravena 9, Montalbo 0, Tautuaa 0, Pogoy 0.

      Quarters: 18-14; 36-32; 63-60; 85-81.

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      June Mar Fajardo carried Gilas on his back during the gold-medal game.
      PHOTO: Jerome Ascano
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