Gilas Men move to 4-0 after Vietnam beatdown
Published on May 19, 2022

Gilas Pilipinas Men used a strong second half to topple hosts Vietnam, 88-60, and notch their fourth straight win in the 31st Southeast Asian Games Thursday at the Thanh Tri Gymnasium. 

June Mar Fajardo had another stellar outing with his double-double performance of 25 points and 11 rebounds. He was efficient in shooting the basketball, going 10-for-12 from the field and a perfect 5-for-5 at the foul line. 

Vietnam, backed by its supportive home crowd, stayed within striking distance for the majority of the first half. Gilas was only ahead by nine points, 42-33, at halftime. 

The Philippines eventually found its groove in the third quarter, outscoring the home team, 20-14, before pulling away in the final frame. Gilas opened the fourth on a 17-3 run, punctuated by a Fajardo bucket to establish a 79-50 advantage. The lead ballooned to as high as 31 points. 

Brothers Kiefer and Thirdy Ravena both had superb stat sheet-stuffing performances. Thirdy finished with six points, 13 rebounds, seven assists, three steals, and a block. Kiefer, meanwhile, had 12 points, six boards, and seven dimes. Youngster LeBron Lopez poured in 12 points. 

The Philippines shot 44 percent from the field, overcoming its 5-for-27 shooting from beyond the arc. Led by Fajardo, Gilas dominated the boards, 56-27, and points in the paint, 54-34. The Filipinos also had 26 assists and 22 second-chance points. 

Quy Dang paced Vietnam with 20 points. UCLA Bruin Johnny Juzang was limited to eight points from his 26.5-point average in the tournament.

The Philippines leads the competition with a 4-0 slate, followed by Indonesia (3-0). The team with the best record after the round-robin tournament will take home the gold. 

Gilas is set to take on Malaysia on Saturday at 10:00 AM (Manila time). 

(File photo from FIBA)