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The Gilas Pilipinas men’s national basketball team suffered an improbable 81-85 loss to Indonesia to settle for the silver medal in the 31st Southeast Asian Games men’s basketball tournament on Sunday at the Thanh Tri Gymnasium in Hanoi, Vietnam.
The loss ended the Filipinos’ 33-year reign in the biennial regional meet. The last time time the Philippines lost was back in 1989 when an all-amateur squad lost to hosts Malaysia. Before Sunday’s defeat, the Philippines had won 13 straight SEA Games gold medals except for the two instances—2005 and 2009—when the sport was not included in the roster of games.
Indonesia leaned on a balanced scoring attack led by naturalized player Marques Bolden, Derrick Michael Xzavierro, and Damar Abraham Gratiwa to come away with the shocking win. The Gilas trailed for most of the game and was behind, 76-81, after Bolden scored on a putback with 40 seconds left.
Gilas wingman Matthew Wright scored to trim the deficit to three and the Phoenix star even had a shot to pull his team closer. However, he missed a tough shot and Indonesia closed the game out with two free-throws from Grahita.
Wright led the way for the Gilas with 23 points, four rebounds, and four assists, while June Mar Fajardo added 20 markers. Thirdy Ravena also chipped in 17.
Bolden put up a double-double of 18 points and 10 rebounds, while Grahita ended up with 17 points. Brandon Jawato and Yeshe Goantara Agassi had 11 points apiece.
“Our players played their best,” Reyes said after emerging from the dugout. “Indonesia came up with a very good game plan. They shot well from the three-point line. In the end, we just couldn’t match it.
“Obviously that’s on me. I take full accountability and responsibility for the result. Like I said, they tried their best and that’s sports. That’s life. Sometimes, things don’t work out the way we played,” he added.