Gilas Pilipinas Beat Vietnam 110-69 in Group A at 2019 Southeast Asian Games

Tom Sunderland@@TomSunderland_Featured ColumnistDecember 6, 2019

BEIJING, CHINA - SEPTEMBER 06: June Mar Fajardo #15 of the Philippines National Team in action against the Tunisia National Team during the classification round of 2019 FIBA World Cup on September 6, 2019 in Beijing, China. (Photo by Xinyu Cui/Getty Images)
Xinyu Cui/Getty Images

Gilas Pilipinas beat Vietnam 110-69 to move to second in Group A of the men's basketball tournament at the 2019 Southeast Asian Games on Friday, retaining their perfect record in this year's competition.

The Philippines moved one point below leaders Vietnam but can top the table in case of a head-to-head tiebreaker considering they've now beaten both them and Singapore. They can make it three wins from three in the first round if they defeat Myanmar on Saturday.

The Filipinos have already collected two basketball gold medals at this year's SEA Games after both men's and women's teams triumphed in the three-on-three format, via GMA News:

GMA News @gmanews

HIGHLIGHTS: Gilas Pilipinas women's team takes the gold medal after defeating Thailand in 3X3 Basketball finals #SEAGames2019 https://t.co/NMd34HJZr3

It took the favourites some time to find their rhythm in their latest outing at the Mall of Asia Arena in Pasay, Philippines, but Tim Cone's side eventually imposed their will.

June Mar Fajardo of the Philippine Basketball Association's San Miguel Beermen was the star of the show and led the hosts' charge with 25 points, 12 of which came during a decisive third quarter.

The 6'10" giant was ultimately too overwhelming a force for the smaller Vietnam team to tame, while Alaska Aces forward Vic Manuel played an important role keeping the scoreboard ticking in the first half, via ESPN5: 

ESPN5 @Sports5PH

Vic Manuel 💪💪💪 #SamaSamaSaSEAGames #SEAGames2019 #WeWinAsOne https://t.co/CRPqAasPkN

The Philippines won by 41 points in the end, but their result didn't seem nearly as certain when they led 52-40 at the halfway mark.

Former NBA trialist Japeth Aguilar provided some welcome touches of class for the home favourites, grabbing the rim with an audacious dunk in the second quarter:

ESPN5 @Sports5PH

SLAM DUNK! @japethaguilar35 📺 @TV5manila 💻 https://t.co/db5SPnPDmB #SamaSamaSaSEAGames #WeWinAsOne #SEAGames2019 https://t.co/lW4VCgsMqr

Gilas were dominant in the fourth quarter, 30-12, and built up their point differential, another area in which they now hold a significant advantage over the competition in Group A.

Thailand look like the team most likely to top Group B with one game remaining, while Indonesia, Malaysia and Cambodia follow (in that order) in pursuit of a semi-final place.