Abueva, Blatche lead Gilas Pilipinas past Singapore, 113-66

Gilas Pilipinas vs Singapore - SEABA 2017

Gilas Pilipinas picked up their second straight win in the 2017 SEABA Championships in Manila after a dominant 113-66 victory over Singapore Saturday, May 13 at the Smart-Araneta Coliseum in Quezon City, Philippines.

Five players finished in double-digits for Gilas which improved to 2-0 early in the tournament, tying Indonesia and Thailand on top of the team standings.

Calvin Abueva once again led the way for the Philippines, scoring 16 points on 50 percent shooting. He also had five rebounds and three assists.

Andray Blatche added 14 points on 6-of-11 shooting and had two blocks. Allein Maliksi also had 14 points while Matthew Wright added 13 points.

Gilas shot 57.5 percent from the field, outrebounded Singapore, 48-23, and assisted 25 field goal makes. The home team scored 64 points in the paint and had 22 fastbreak points.

Roger Pogoy once again keyed in a strong start by Gilas as he scored six points in an 11-0 run by the national team. After him, big men Andray Blatche and June Mar Fajardo joined hands in doing damage, combining for 15 points as Gilas held a 31-9 advantage after the first quarter.

“Palagi namang ganoon ang hinihingi ni coach Chot (Reyes). Dapat start pa lang, strong start na. Mahirap na kapag mabigyan ng kumpiyansa yung kalaban,” Pogoy said.

Gilas held a 61-26 halftime advantage before Singapore came up with a better showing on offense in the first few minutes in the third quarter. But Abueva and Terrence Romeo picked up from where the team left off for the rest of the third quarter, punishing Singapore with transition baskets.

A triple by Wright enabled Gilas to reach the century mark in the fourth quarter while free throws by Maliksi made it a 50-point cushion, 109-59.

Though badly beaten, Singapore head coach Franco Arsego was all praise for Gilas Pilipinas, even saying he feels privileged to have the level of play Gilas has, which is needed by his team to improve.

“I wish them the best of luck in the qualifiers. We are all inspired by these opportunities and I think we are very blessed to have this sort of competition in this region,” Arsego said.

Singapore for their part had five players finish in double-digit scoring too. Larry Liew was the high man, dropping 14 points including four from beyond the three-point line. Wong Wei Long had 12 points while Ng Han Bin and Leon Kwek each contributed 11 points.

“I am a team-oriented guy. We need to do that. In Singapore we haven’t uncovered a Steph Curry or a LeBron James yet. We have not gotten yet a go-to guy. But the ABL has shown that as a collective group we can perform well. A really good point spread is a good foundation for us to win collectively,” Arsego said.

The Lion City scored only 50 points in their opening day loss to Indonesia. Against Gilas, Singapore tallied 66 points and shot better from the three-point area at 36.4 percent.

Gilas will take on Malaysia (0-2) tomorrow, May 14 while Singapore takes a break before returning to action on Monday, May 15 also against Malaysia.

Written by Levi Verora Jr
Photos by Glenn Michael Tan

The Scores:
Philippines – Abueva 16, Blatche 14, Maliksi 14, Wright 13, Fajardo 11, Rosario 9, Pogoy 9, Romeo 9, Almazan 8, Jalalon 6, Aguilar 4, Castro 0.

Singapore – Liew 14, Wong 12, Ng H. B. 11, Kwek 11, Goh 10, Ng J. 4, Cheok 2, Lim J. 1, Chia 1, Lim Y. 0

Quarterscores: 31-9, 61-26, 89-51, 113-66.

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