PHNOM PENH – Gilas Pilipinas started its redemption bid with a 94-49 win over Malaysia Tuesday in the 32nd Southeast Asian Games men’s basketball meet at the Morodok Techo National Stadium Elephant Hall 2.
Brandon Ganuelas-Rosser had 15 points and five rebounds, while Justin Brownlee made 11 points and four rebounds in his SEA Games debut.
Arvin Tolentino had 10 points, while La Salle big man Michael Phillips had 9 points and 15 rebounds as Gilas Pilipinas dominated the ballgame right from the opening tip.
“We challenged the first group to get us off to a good start. It’s really their responsibility to start us off well,” Gilas Pilipinas coach Chot Reyes said.
The team takes a one-day break before battling host Cambodia, which is beefed up by six naturalized players including the trio of Sayeed Pridget, Brandon Peterson and Darrin Dorsey, members of the 3×3 team that won the gold.
The respite will also enable Calvin Oftana to heal after suffering a strained calf muscle after a slip in the first half.
“We have a casualty right away. Calvin Oftana strained a calf muscle that’s why we didn’t play him anymore in the second half,” Reyes said.
The women’s competition begins Wednesday, with the Philippines battling Cambodia at 3 p.m. (4 p.m. Philippine time)
Gilas took a 33-12 lead at the end of the first quarter and never looked back, even leading by as much as 50 points.
Phillips wowed the Filipino fans at the venue with his energy, highlighted by two slams. (PR)