Coach Chot Reyes told members of the team to make their mother’s proud with their game on Mother’s Day.
And they did.
With their tough defense and their accurate three-pointers working all night, Gilas Pilipinas went on to crush winless Malaysia, 106-51, on Sunday at the Araneta Coliseum.
This gave them their third straight victory and a share of the lead with Thailand on Day 3 of the 2017 Southeast Asian Basketball Association championship.
Andray Blatche and Troy Rosario led Gilas with 13 points apiece while Terrence Romeo and Matthew Wright made 12. Hee Yee Tong topscored with 12 points for Malaysia.
Team Pilipinas came prepared for Malaysia’s physical style and had little trouble leading by 19 points, 36-17 in the first half.
“I told the team before the game to play in such a way that would make their mother’s proud,” said Reyes. He added that most of his players played in the D-League and are used to physical matchups there.
Gilas unloaded five treys in the second canto, with back-to-back triples from Malicsi and Blatche putting Team Pilipinas up by 25 points, 44-19, with 7:44 left.
Jayson Castro William tallied 10 points at halftime, including a three-pointer and a layup in the remaining five minutes of the second half.
This helped Gilas move up by 36 points, 56-20, with 2:59 to go.
By then, Malaysia had collected 11 fouls to Gilas’ 9 at halftime.
In the opening canto, Romeo struck with nine points, with his trey in the last 44 seconds sending Gilas ahead by 22, 36-14.
An appreciative audience then did a human at least twice when Gilas took a 44-point lead, 73-29 in the last 6:12.
That was when Wright connected with two charities in last 6:12.
Rosario’s free throw in the last 23 seconds of the period then gave Gilas their biggest taste of the lead, 88-35.
Gilas takes a rest day on Monday before they meet Thailand on Tuesday at 7 p.m.