Gilas Pilipinas run on a huge roadblock in its bid to regain the basketball gold in the Southeast Asian Games, suffering a throbbing 79-68 loss against host Cambodia Thursday before a jampacked crowd at the Morodok Techo National Stadium Elephant Hall 2.
The Filipinos fell by as many as 21 points and just couldn’t put their acts together to overhaul the huge deficit against a Cambodian side powered by six naturalized players that dealt them their first loss in the tournament.
It was the first time in memory the Cambodians beat the Filipinos in the history of SEA Games basketball.
The imposing victory by the host pushed it alone on top of Group A with a 2-0 slate.
The Philippines fell to an even 1-1 record, but still has a strong chance of advancing to the next round with a win over Singapore in its final assignment in the group stage on Saturday as the best two teams in each group will make the semis.
The Singaporeans are winless in two outings, while Malaysia, which Gilas defeated in its first outing, 94-49, has an even 1-1 slate.
Darrinray Dorsey finished with 22 points and Sayeed Pridgett with 17 as the two ignited the host country’s fast start that saw the Cambodians raced to a 15-8 start before settling for a 47-31 halftime lead.