The week-long 2017 SEABA Championships in Manila concluded Thursday night. And as expected, the Philippines easily ran over their Southeast Asian opponents en route to the gold medal.
The tournament simply became another display of Gilas Pilipinas’ might in the region. Over the course of six games which they all won, the Filipino squad lambasted all the other teams by a whopping margin of 58.7 points, breaking the SEABA record for point differential with 352 points.
As a team stacked with PBA stars and reinforced by naturalized Filipino Andray Blatche, lopsided victories were inevitable. This current 12-man roster was dubbed as an “overkill” team, and they strongly lived up to it.
And for top big man and Gilas veteran June Mar Fajardo, he hopes that the Nationals will sustain this rhythm of theirs as they head into the bigger contest, the 2017 FIBA Asia Cup slated from August 15-27 in Lebanon.
“Sobrang ganda ng pinakita natin sa SEABA. Sana madala natin sa FIBA Asia,” Fajardo hoped, moments after Gilas’ 97-64 drubbing of Indonesia to clinch the gold — the Philippines’ eighth overall in the tournament.
The 27-year-old San Miguel Beermen star has been serving the national team since 2013. Now serving as one of the team’s leaders, Fajardo assesses what Gilas has to do in order for them to compete in the Asian Cup.
“Yung chemistry nandoon na. Polish na lang,” remarked the three-time PBA MVP, who averaged 9.27 points and seven caroms in the tournament. “More on sa depensa kasi malalaki na ang kalaban kaya dapat higpitan pa ang depensa.
“Kailangan lang i-work out.”