The Gilas Pilipinas Men and Women’s team came into their respective games and did work. When the smoked cleared they both won gold medals in the 5×5 Basketball events to complete a Philippine sweep of all four Basketball events in the 2019 Southeast Asian (SEA) Games.
The women were up first, facing a tough Thai team with WNBA player Tiffany Bias on their roster. That didn’t faze the Gilas Women as they drubbed Thailand with a 91-71 win.
Jack Animam poured out 21 points to lead Gilas in scoring. She had a lot of help from her long-time teammates as Janine Pontejos dropped 16 points while Afril Bernardino had an all-around line with 10 points, 14 rebounds, five assists and two blocks. Bias scored 15 points but was shut down by Gilas in the second half.
The women pulled away in the second half with a gutsy defensive performance and a strong run on the offensive end. Up by only two points heading to the half, Gilas unleashed an 18-5 bomb in the third period. Pontejos played big in a 7-0 run to open the quarter. Animam, Bernardino and Frances Cabinbin then teamed up for a 9-0 run to help build a 63-48 lead. Bernardino and Animam continued to pour in the points in the fourth quarter to keep Thailand at bay.
This is the first gold medal for Women’s Basketball by the Philippines. They finished this tournament undefeated at 3-0 to take the top spot.
The men followed up the women’s game with their own gold medal performance against Thailand. They used a sizzling third quarter run to pull away and win by 34 points, 115-81.
June Mar Fajardo and Christian Standhardinger dominated the paint to both put up double-doubles for Gilas. Fajardo led the way with 17 points and 13 rebounds while Standhardinger had 16 points and 11 rebounds. Matthew Wright had 14 points and five steals while Stanley Pringle added 13 points and four assists. Tyler Lamb led Thailand with 33 points and eight rebounds.
Gilas used their own third quarter blast to secure the win. Up by only nine points heading to the break, Gilas unloaded 40-point third quarter to increase their lead to 34 heading to the fourth. They opened the quarter on an 8-0 run to rebuild a double-digit lead. Wright and Fajardo formed a potent inside outside combo during that run. Fajardo got key buckets in the paint while Wright waxed hot from beyond the arc, dropping four triples in the third period alone. The game was practically over after that blast.
This is the 13th straight gold medal for the Philippines in Men’s Basketball at the SEA Games. They dominated this year’s competition, winning by an average of 44 points throughout their five games.