E-Gilas Pilipinas reclaimed the Southeast Asian Conference crown as it swept Indonesia, 2-0 (60-53, 44-36), in the best-of-three Finals of the FIBA Esports Open III on Sunday.
Members of the E-Gilas Pilipinas squad led by tournament MVP Angelico ‘Shintarou’ Cruzin. FIBA PHOTO
The Playbook Esports-backed nationals have now won two of the three editions of the FIBA Esports Open, with the runner-up finish coming from last season when they lost to Australia.
Angelico ‘Shintarou’ Cruzin, Custer Galas, Clark Banzon, Aminolah ‘Just R-I-A-L’ Polog Jr., Arnie ‘El Chapo’ Sison, Ian Santiago, and Philippe ‘Izzo’ Herrero IV comprised the E-Gilas team.
“It means a lot to represent the Philippines again and reclaim the Southeast Asia Conference title. We’ve been through ups and downs, we’ve lost FIBA Esports II so I’m so happy and blessed that we reclaimed the title,” said Polog Jr. in the FIBA postgame interview.
Cruzin took home the Most Valuable Player (MVP) plum, along with a Tissot watch prize. Shintarou registered 22.0 points and 9.5 assists in the finals.
Shintarou came through in the clutch in Game One as he willed the team by scoring 11 points, including a dagger trey with 6.2 seconds left, to command the 13-5 finishing kick of the Filipinos that turned a 47-48 deficit in the last 3:05 into a 60-53 win.
Shintarou put up 25 markers and 11 assists, as Izzo backstopped him with 20 points and eight boards.
E-Gilas then pulled away in the second half of Game 2 with a 14-0 back-breaking assault to carry a 35-21 lead in the fourth quarter. The Filipinos ended up with an 8-point lead after the contest, 44-36.
Shintarou once again led the Philippines with 19 points built on five triples. Izzo also rose to the occasion with 12 points, eight caroms, and three steals.
E-Gilas went spotless in the tourney with a 6-0 slate.