MANILA, Philippines—A barrage of 3-pointers in the third quarter propelled the Philippines to a 97-70 victory over Indonesia in the men's basketball semifinals on Monday at Mall of Asia Arena.
The win set up a gold-medal game between the Philippines and Thailand in the 30th Southeast Asian Games, after Thailand edged Vietnam 101-95 in the other semifinal pairing.
The final is on Tuesday, still at MoA Arena. The Philippines is gunning for its 18th SEA Games gold.
"They (Indonesia) played a really good first half, and yeah, I had some anxious moments during the game and I had anxious moments at halftime, but I trusted the guys that they would eventually find their way and pick it up, and they did," Gilas Pilipinas head coach Tim Cone said.
Indonesia, mentored by former Gilas Pilipinas coach Rajko Toroman, kept in step with the Philippines and trailed by just 8 points, 47-39, with more than seven minutes to go in the third quarter.
The Filipinos pulled away thanks to an unlikely source of offense. Chris Ross, who had been satisfied with setting the tone defensively and dishing out assists during the group round, knocked down back-to-back 3-pointers that sparked a 16-0 run.
Fittingly, it was Ross himself who capped that run with his third 3-pointer of the quarter, giving the Filipinos a 63-39 advantage with just over four minutes left to play.
"The two threes of Chris Ross in the third quarter, after the halftime, kind of knocked the lid off our basket. Suddenly, it looked open, and everybody could knock down shots," said Cone.
"Until he made those two shots, it was like there was a lid on top of the basket, we just couldn't shoot. And that got us going and that keyed our run, and it took the pressure off us."
It was all Gilas from there. Matthew Wright and Marcio Lassiter both found their mark from behind the arc towards the end of the period, putting the home squad on top by 33 points 78-45 heading into the fourth quarter.
Gilas led by as many as 36 points 83-47 with around 8:30 to play in the game off a jumper by June Mar Fajardo.
"It's gonna be a struggle for us (Tuesday) I feel it," Cone said of his team's game against Thailand. "But the finals is the finals. I think the guys are gonna be all keyed up."
Christian Standhardinger led Gilas with 14 points, while Wright finished with 13 points, 8 assists, and 4 rebounds. Vic Manuel added 12 points, while Ross had 11 points, 6 assists, and 5 boards. The Philippines shot a blistering 64.1% from the field, and had 31 assists.
Juan Laurent Kokodiputra led Indonesia with 20 points.
PHILIPPINES 97 -- Standhardinger 14, Wright 13, Manuel 12, Ross 11, Pringle 9, Fajardo 9, Lassiter 7, Rosario 7, Aguilar 6, Slaughter 6, Ravena 2, Tenorio 1.
INDONESIA 70 -- Kokodiputra 20, Grahita 14, Dhyaksa 11, Joni 11, Gemilang 6, Sitorus 4, Oei 2, Kokasih 2, Lakudu 0, Wicaksono 0.
Quarters: 24-20, 39-28, 78-45, 97-70.
For more sports coverage, visit the ABS-CBN Sports website.