Gilas Pilipinas Dominate Myanmar, Move to 2-0 at 2017 Southeast Asian Games

Mike Chiari@mikechiariFeatured ColumnistAugust 22, 2017

Philippines basketball player Jayson Castro William manoeuvers with the ball during a FIBA AsiaCup 2017 group match against China, in the Lebanese town of Zouk Mikael north of Beirut on August 9, 2017.
Phillippines won over China 96 to 87. / AFP PHOTO / JOSEPH EID        (Photo credit should read JOSEPH EID/AFP/Getty Images)
JOSEPH EID/Getty Images

Gilas Pilipinas improved to 2-0 at the 2017 Southeast Asian Games on Tuesday with a dominant 129-34 win over Myanmar at MABA Stadium in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia.         

The victory was a significant step for the Philippines after it struggled at times in an 81-74 tournament-opening win over Thailand on Sunday.

During Tuesday's tilt, forward Raymar Jose led the way for Gilas with a game-high 22 points, while guard Kobe Paras contributed 20 points, eight rebounds, seven steals, four assists and four blocks off the bench.

Seven Gilas players scored at least 10 points in the drubbing, and the team netted at least 29 points in each quarter.

This emphatic dunk in the closing minutes of the first quarter was among Paras' top highlights during his stirring performance, courtesy of Sports5:

Gilas set the tone in the first quarter for the one-sided contest, as it opened on a 15-0 run and led 31-7 heading into the second.

The margin grew even larger during the second quarter, and Paras continued to have his way with an overmatched Myanmar squad:

Gilas led by an astounding 50 points at halftime, and the only question that remained was whether it would be able to win the game by triple digits.

That possibility began to look like reality in a third quarter that saw the Philippines outscore Myanmar 38-6 and increase its lead to a ridiculous 98-16.

In a quarter filled with dazzling plays by Gilas, guard Mike Tolomia stole the show by picking his way through Myanmar and finishing with a beautiful finger roll:

The Philippines scored another 31 points in the fourth quarter, but it appeared to take its foot off the gas to some degree on the defensive end.

Myanmar managed 18 points in the final frame, and that was enough to preserve a 95-point loss and avoid losing by 100.

Tuesday's game was a massive mismatch on paper in favor of Gilas, but it was a confidence-building win after its tournament got off to a somewhat shaky start.

Now that they're locked in and firing on all cylinders, the tournament favorites will turn their attention to a clash with Malaysia on Wednesday.