PH cagers bag gold in SEA Games basketball

By Gerry Carpio, The Philippine Star

Posted at Dec 15 2013 07:53 PM | Updated as of Dec 16 2013 07:22 PM

NAY PYI TAW, Myanmar – (UPDATED) Sinag Pilipinas established a 19-point lead in the third quarter and limited Malaysia to only seven points in the fourth en route to an 84-56 victory to retain basketball supremacy for the 15th time in the Southeast Asian Games Sunday at the Zayar Thieri Indoor Stadium.

The Philippines completed the seven-nation competition with six straight victories in winning all SEA Games basketball crowns except in 1989, which the Malaysians won on their home court.

Bobby Ray Parks scored 18 points in leading the Filipino cagers to their 16th crown, underscoring the country’s dominance as basketball power in the region.

“We’re expected to win here, so it’s only proper that we perform according to expectations,” said national coach Jong Uichico.

Uichico said that despite the short time he had to form a national team, his wards became a cohesive unit in the games that mattered most.

“I’m surprised they were able to play together. That was our main concern at the start and in some games during the tournament,” he added.

“Our 100-68 win over (second-place) Thailand was the barometer of our performance. It was the true test,” said Uichico. “They defended well, they played well offensively, and they kept the pressure on both ends.”