Gilas Pilipinas guns for a sweep of the Southeast Asian Games men’s basketball eliminations Saturday night against lowly Myanmar, eyeing some fine-tuning and cohesion-building ahead of the semifinals.
The mighty Filipinos have flexed their muscles in back-to-back routs over Singapore (110-58) and vastly-improved Vietnam (110-69) and unless a major catastrophy takes place, the hosts should blow by the winless Burmese (0-2) in the 8:15 p.m. encounter that serves as warmup for their semis stint.
With their No. 1 standing in Group A, the charges of coach Tim Cone will face the No. 2 finisher in Group B, which could either be Indonesia or Malaysia, in the Last-4.
The Indons of former Gilas mentor Rajko Toroman and the Malaysians tote identical 1-1 win-loss cards behind Group B pacesetter Thailand (2-0) and will aim to clinch the second semis seat against separate rivals Saturday afternoon. Indonesia takes on Cambodia and Malaysia battles the Thais.
Gilas encountered stiff resistance in the first 20 minutes from the Vietnamese, who are bannered by quality Viet-American big man Christopher Dierker but buckled down to work defensively to establish order and take the game with plenty to spare.