May 22, 2022

Gilas suffers heartbreaker against Indonesia, yields crown

END of a dominant supremacy.

Gilas Pilipinas suffered that fate at the end of the men's basketball competition in the 31st Southeast Asian Games with an 85-81 heartbreaker at the hands of Indonesia in Hanoi, Vietnam Sunday.

Coach Milo Pejic finally unleashed Marques Bolden and, coupled with their sleek three-point shooting, the Indonesians ended the Philippines' 30-year reign as basketball kingpin in the regional biennial meet.

Hardly thrown into action in their first five games, the 6-foot-10 Bolden, a former Cleveland Cavalier, played a key role in their four-point upset of Gilas, making Indonesia a basketball champ for the first time in the history of the Games.

Team Philippines yielded the crown that it held since 1991 or since a redemption run after a debacle versus Malaysia in Kuala Lumpur in 1989.

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The only other time that the Philippines failed to win the SEAG men's basketball was in 1979.

Matthew Wright was the only answer in Indonesia's torrid shooting.

A three-pointer by the Phoenix Super LPG hotshot gave Gilas some hope, 79-81, with 36 seconds left to play.

A good defense had the Philippines gaining possession and a shot at overtime, but Bolden swatted Matthew's layup.

Then Bolden himself sealed the deal with two free throws with two seconds left.

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And that ended the Philippines' streak of 13 straight championships in the SEA Games. (SB)