Gilas Pilipinas is on the cusp of sweeping the men’s basketball tournament and claiming another gold medal at the 31st Southeast Asian Games in Hanoi, Vietnam.
The Philippines registered yet another convincing victory at the Thanh Tri Gymnasium, clobbering Malaysia, 87-44, on Saturday for a 5-0 record.
Thirdy Ravena spearheaded the Gilas campaign with 17 points and seven boards while RR Pogoy and LeBron Lopez contributed with 19 points combined.
Meanwhile, Malaysia suffered its second straight loss to go down at 2-3 in the competition.
Malaysia had a 10-9 lead midway through the first period after a basket by Anthony Wen Qian. But the Philippines went on a 10-0 run sparked by a 3-pointer by Ravena to close the first 10 minutes of action up 19-10.
That lead grew by 18, 28-10, in the second period as Gilas held Malaysia scoreless for more than four minutes.
It was all Philippines in the second half as coach Chot Reyes and his crew ran away early in the third, building a 49-24 separation after a trey from Kiefer Ravena at the 6:30 mark.
A coast-to-coast drive of Kib Montalbo and a jumper by Pogoy made Malaysia’s deficit to 35 points, 68-33.
Will Navarro also added to the woes of their opponent as he stretched the lead to 41 after a putback shot, 74-33, with eight minutes left to play.
Gilas is eyeing a 14th straight SEA Games gold and 19th overall.