Indonesia ends PH’s SEAG reign in men’s 5x5 basketball

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Metro Manila (CNN Philippines, May 22) – Indonesia ended the reign of Gilas Pilipinas as the kings of Southeast Asian Games men’s 5x5 basketball.

Newly naturalized player Marques Bolden and Abraham Damar Grahita teamed up to help score a massive 85-81 upset win for the Indonesians, in the battle for the region’s hardcourt supremacy in the Vietnam Games on Sunday at the Thanh Tri Gymnasium.

It was the first time since 1989 that the Philippines settled for a silver medal in the event which they had dominated in 18 of the last 21 editions.

Bolden finished with 18 points and 10 rebounds, while team captain Grahita added 17 markers for the historic victory by the Indonesian national team mentored by former Gilas Pilipinas head coach Rajko Toroman.

Indonesia led throughout the first three quarters, with their shots clicking and complemented by an effective defense against the Philippines.

In the payoff period, Gilas tried to steal the lead, with Matthew Wright draining a triple in the last 39 seconds for a 79-81 deficit.

Grahita was fouled in the next play and converted his two free throws, but Thirdy Ravena answered back with a layup for an 81-83 deficit for Gilas with five seconds left.

Bolden, who had a short stint with the Cleveland Cavaliers in the NBA, sank two free throws off a foul by Troy Rosario to clinch Indonesia’s first-ever Southeast Asian Games gold medal in basketball.

“Obviously that’s on me. I take full accountability and responsibility for the result. Like I said, they tried their best and that’s sports. That’s life. Sometimes, things don’t work out the way we played,” Gilas head coach Chot Reyes took the blame on their disappointing finish.

Wright finished with 23 points for Gilas, while June Mar Fajardo logged 20 markers and nine rebounds. Ravena was the other double digit scorer for Gilas with 17 points.

Indonesia swept their six games for the golden finish, while the Philippines finished with a 5-1 slate for the silver medal.