Gilas Pilipinas took some time to get going, but hit strides just the same and repulsed the sweet-shooting home team.
The Nationals ended the perfect run of the Vietnamese and inched closer to a golden moment in the 31st Southeast Asian Games with an 88-60 triumph at the Thanh Tri Gymnasium in the Vietnam capital Thursday night.
Coach Chot Reyes and his crew hacked out the 28-point victory that somehow came down as some measure of payback for Team Philippines following a heartbreaker against the home squad in the 3×3 play.
June Mar Fajardo and his teammates sent the Vietnamese to realization after their silver-medal showing in the three-a-side tourney and a roaring 2-0 start in the 5×5.
The Vietnamese put themselves in medal contention in 5×5 with an 87-55 demolition of Cambodia followed by an 86-83 decision over Singapore.
But then came their date with the Filipinos and suffered their sad fate even with the impressive games of 6-2 Christian Juzang of Harvard, 5-7 Corey Cilia of the University of California at Santa Cruz, 6-4 Justin Young (also known as Vinh Luan Duong) of Chapman College and 6-7 Chris Dierker of Madonna University.
American coach Kevin Yurkus and the Vietnamese proved no match as the Filipinos stepped up at the finish.