by Dennis Principe
Well aware that Myanmar won’t pose any competitive threat, Gilas Pilipinas head coach Chot Reyes urged his players to take as many dives as they can, literally.
Reyes believes getting used to jostling their foes is the best thing they can gain against an inferior Myanmar squad whom the nationals demolished, 147-40 in day one of the SEABA Men’s basketball championship Friday night at the Smart Araneta Coliseum.
Gilas was so dominant their rebounds (57) and assists (45) surpassed Myanmar’s total scoring output.
Reyes should be content with seeing his team forced 38 turnovers which was converted into 54 points, while forcing Myanmar to shoot just 21 percent (15-of-71) from the field.
TNT KaTropa rookie RR Pogoy accounted for 11 in that aforementioned 17-0 start on his way to 17 points with six rebounds, four assists and four steals in 22 minutes of action.
He was one of nine players who scored in double figures, with Alaska star Calvin Abueva leading the way with 22 points and Star forward Allein Maliksi adding 20.
At one point, Gilas scored 33 consecutive points during an eight-minute stretch bridging the second and third periods, turning a 50-12 lead into a 83-12 advantage. The good-sized Gilas crowd that included a rowdy group of supporters known as Ultra Filipinas even cheered when Myanmar ended the drought with an Aung Zaya basket, 6:17 left in the third.
Gilas shoots for its second straight win tonight when it plays Singapore at 7 p.m. (With a report from Jonas Terrado)