The Philippine national men’s basketball team suffered a setback in the men’s basketball competition after losing to the hometown Cambodia team, 79-68, in the 32nd Southeast Asian Games on Thursday.
With the loss, the Gilas Pilipinas national team dropped down to second place in Group A of the tournament with a 1-1 record, trailing behind the hosts at 2-0. Malaysia, whom the Philippines beat in their first game, is also at 1-1.
The top two teams in each group advance to the semifinal round.
Cambodia fielded several naturalized players in the game, including Darrin Dorsey, Sayeed Pridgett, and Brandon Peterson, who were part of Cambodia’s gold medal-winning 3×3 basketball team.
Dorsey led the way for Cambodia with 22 points while Pridgett added 17.
Christian Standhardinger led Gilas Pilipinas with 14 while Chris Newsome scored 11.
Dorsey kicked things off as he scored eight of the first 10 of Cambodia’s points. Pridgett then took over as he finished with 10 first quarter points, including five unanswered late in the period that allowed the hosts to hold a commanding 26-14 lead after one.
Gilas mounted a challenge in the second period, staying within striking distance at a 10-point deficit before some late triples from Pridgett and Dorsey opened the game back up, 47-31, at the half. The two naturalized players scored 16 points apiece in the first half while Standhardinger led the Philippines with 12 points.
In the third, Justin Brownlee tried to spark the Filipinos as he scored seven of the team’s first nine points to lead a charge that got Gilas back to within 10, 50-40. But Cambodia responded with an 11-0 run to make it a 21-point game, 61-40.
The Philippines again tried to rally in the fourth, with Brownlee and Newsome leading an 8-2 run that made it a 13-point contest. Gilas continued to battle but some big three-pointers from Cambodia’s Oscar Lopes kept them at bay. The Filipinos were only able to come to as close as 10 late in the game.
There were some tense moments late as one coach from Cambodia figured in a verbal exchange with Chris Ross.
Cambodia 79 – Dorsey 22, Pridgett 17, Lopes 13, Peterson 11, Henderson 11, Hoeup 3, Morgan 2.
Philippines 68 – Standhardinger 14, Newsome 11, Brownlee 10, Perez 9, Tolentino 5, Ganuelas-Rosser 4, Lastimosa 4, Lassiter 4, Philips 4, Amos 3, Ross 0.
Quarters: 26-14, 47-31, 66-47, 79-68.
—JMB, GMA Integrated News
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