Stalwarts from the other sports have done their part in Team Philippines’ gold-winning spree in the 30th Southeast Asian Games in the country and Tuesday night it’s the turn of Gilas Pilipinas to take care of business in the sport every Filipino is passionate about.
The rampaging Gilas cagers gun for the country’s 13th straight gold medal in the SEAG against Thailand in the 8:15 p.m. finale at MOA Arena, poised to live up to everyone’s high expectations and join the Filipino athletes’ record-breaking harvest in the biennial conclave.
Gilas coach Tim Cone expects his charges to be ready for the job at hand amid all the pressure and hype and the tough resistance from a challenger that’s got nothing to lose,
“It’s gonna be a struggle for us, I feel it. But the finals is the finals. I think the guys are gonna be all keyed up,” said Cone.
Vic Manuel, the team’s leading scorer with an average of 16 points on a 73 percent field goal through four games, said Gilas should set the tone defensively against the Thais, who are in the finals for the first time in six years.
“Kailangan namin start nang maganda, especially sa depensa namin,” said Manuel, whom Cone described as a “perfect fit” for the SEAG.