Naturalized big man Blatche did not play the game, and it was in an effort to keep him in tip-top shape, according to Reyes.
National coach Chot Reyes fielded a new starting lineup with Andray Blatche resting due to a minor hamstring injury and the rest of the Nationals responded as they coasted to their fifth straight victory on the eve of the all-important showdown against Indonesia.
Raymond Almazan of the Philippines scores against Van Hung Nguyen of Vietnam during the Southeast Asia Basketball Association Championship on Wednesday at the Smart Araneta Coliseum.
In a game where Reyes opted to field in Terrence Romeo, Calvin Abueva, Troy Rosario, and Matt Wright in place of Blatche, Jayson Castro, Allein Maliksi, and RR Pogoy, Gilas used an 14-0 run midway through the first quarter to break away for good. "From the start, we knew Indonesia is going to be the toughest opponent, so we can only find ourselves here". The victor of the game earns a ticket to the FIBA Asia Cup later this year.
Gilas Pilipinas is now tied at 5-0 with Indonesia and will vie for the gold on Thursday, May 18, in the last match of the tournament.
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In their first game of the tournament after getting cleared to play by FIBA on Tuesday, Johnson and Wisnu showed their potentials as they led the Indonesians to their fifth straight win.
"We have a better chance of matching the Philippines tomorrow with the addition of Jamarr (Johnson) and Arki (Wisnu)", said head coach Jati Widayat Wahyu. The Philippines is big in basketball. We're gonna be playing teams that are much better than these teams and they're not gonna feel bad for us. I'm willing to sacrifice my body and play my hearts out regardless of what reputation they (the Philippines) have. "Let's just see what will happen there", said Wisnu, who finished with 16 markers.
Thailand secured the bronze medal after beating Singapore, 67-57, behind the 17-point performance of Chitchai Ananti.
Their 73-point winning margin is the second-largest winning margin in the tournament after the Philippines' 107-point dismantling of the same Myanmar team on opening day.