MANILA, Philippines – The Philippines copped the men's basketball crown in the 3rd ASEAN Schools' Games (ASG) by dethroning defending champion Malaysia in the finals.
The national team, represented by the San Beda College-Taytay high school basketball squad, totally dominated Malaysia with superior firepower, 73-47.
“Our victory is for the Filipino people, country and flag,” team manager Edilberto Abalos wrote in an email to the Department of Education (DepEd). “This is the 1st gold medal for the country in the many international high school basketball competitions the country participated in.”
The Philippine team is composed of Francis Abarcar, Van Abatayo, Limuel Patenio, Antonio Bonsubre, Jr., Ranbill Tongco, Boden Miranda, Louis Macapayag, Mikhail Tee, Arvin Tolentino, Francis Munsayac, Daryl Nazareno, and Gideon Babilonia.
Britt Carlo Reroma served as the head coach.
Having arrived only 3 days earlier, the Philippine team had a slow start in the eliminations against host country Singapore. It even lost its second game to Thailand by 4 points.
At the end of the eliminations, all the 3 countries in the group had identical 1-1 win-loss records. The Philippines eventually got the top ranking among the 3 countries based on the tie-break rules.
The Filipinos beat Indonesia, which was ranked 2nd in the other grouping, during the semifinals to forge a title showdown with Malaysia.
“The bigger challenge now is to defend the crown and how to maintain the team since some players will be graduating this school year,” said Abalos.