Japeth Aguilar led Gilas Pilipinas against Thailand with the score of 108-53 in the 2017 SEABA Men’s Championship on Tuesday, May 16 at the Smart Araneta Coliseum. Aguilar had his tournament-high of 23 points and 5 rebounds in the game, leading to the victorious win. This Barangay Ginebra forward also did most of the scoring with a 33-12 advantage in the second quarter.
According to Coach Chot Reyes, “Japeth played a hell of a ball game. The second unit with Terrence Romeo, Calvin Abueva and Japeth gave us the separation we needed in this ball game,” he said.
On the other hand, Calvin Abueva contributed 15 points with 6 assists while guard Terrence Romeo added 11 points and Andray Blatche had 11 points and 7 rebounds. June Mar Fajardo had 9 points and 11 rebounds.
Coach Chot Reyes admitted in an interview that it would be a struggle competing with Thailand’s long, well-coached and athletic players. “We knew we would struggle, we would get tested in this game. Sure enough we had 19 points in the first quarter. But you know when we got used to their length, we were able to make some adjustments. We also had 5 turnovers and only 3 assists in the first quarter so it wasn’t a good offensive performance,” he said.
Coach Reyes also had specific instructions to shut down Thailand’s Teerawat Chanthachon who top-billed the Thai team with 16 points and 7 rebounds.
This is Gilas Pilipinas’ fourth consecutive win and a step forward to being on the FIBA Asian Cup and Asian Qualifiers later this year. Philippines will be competing with Vietnam next on Wednesday.