The Philippines ended a 33-year-old golden rule by bowing to Indonesia’s 85-81, sweet shooting at the 31st Southeast Asian Games on Sunday, playing a retiring enemy eager to assert its power in the region.
At the Thanh Tri Gymnasium in Hanoi, Gilas Pilipinas was crushed early in the competition, and then had to fight to confront the Indonesians, who turned off the lights from the depths.
Matthew Wright led the way for Gilas Pilipinas with 23 points, while Jun Mar Fazardo added 20 more as the Nationals won the silver medal for the first time since 1989.
Thirty-three Ravenna and Troy Rosario finished with 17 and 12 points, respectively, but Giles struggled to pull the production from his supporting cast.
This enabled the Indonesian trio of naturalized players Marquez Bolden, Derrick Xaviero and Abraham Grahita to assert themselves and put the Filipinos in the back seat while the game went on.
The loss comes at a time when the national program is reeling and rebuilding from a sudden jolt that unelected program director and head trainer Tab Baldwin.
Even more worrying is that the Philippines had to endure such intestinal defeats just 14 months before hosting the FIBA World Cup with Japan and Indonesia.
Subscribe to INQUIRER PLUS to access Philippine Daily Inquirer and 70+ other headlines, share up to 5 gadgets, listen to the news, download by 4am and share articles on social media. Call 896 6000.