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E-Gilas Pilipinas on top of FIBA Esports Open in Southeast Asia once again

E-GILAS Pilipinas is once again the king of the International Basketball Federation (FIBA) Esports Open in Southeast Asia after winning the title in the third edition of the tournament at the weekend.

The Philippines swept familiar foe Indonesia in their best-of-three finals played on Sunday to rule the online tournament for the second time.

Tournament most valuable player Angelico “Shintarou” Cruzin showed the way for E-Gilas in the team’s finals sweep, providing clutch plays and motor to sustain their fight.

E-Gilas took Game One of the finals (60-53) before closing things out in Game Two (44-36).

The championship was a completion of a dominant showing of the Philippines in the tournament, which featured an expanded field.

E-Gilas won all its games in the group phase against Vietnam and Maldives in Group 1, then shut out Mongolia from Group 2 in their best-of-three crossover semifinals with scores of 95-35 and 64-58.

It was the second title for the Philippines in the FIBA Esports Open after taking the first edition in June where it swept Indonesia in their five-game series.

In the second edition in November, E-Gilas finished runner-up to Australia in the reconfigured Southeast Asia/Oceania conference. The E-Boomers swept the Filipinos in their best-of-three finals.

Being invested in the team, the Samahang Basketbol ng Pilipinas (SBP) expressed pride in seeing E-Gilas continue to do well in the FIBA Esports Open.

“E-Gilas continues to be a source of pride and joy during these tough times as well as inspiration for individuals who wish to pursue a career in gaming,” said SBP President Al S. Panlilio in a statement.

“After the last competition, the SBP saw how hungry E-Gilas was to reclaim the title. They worked hard on their game and have now regained their spot as the best in the region. Even as more competitors entered the field, E-Gilas stood all,” he added.

Apart from Shintarou, other members of the team were Arnie “El Chapo” Sison, Clark Banzon, Custer Galas, Ian Santiago, Philippe “Izzo” Herrero, and Rial Polog, Jr.

Head coach was Nite Alparas and the team manager was Richard Brojan.

Also winning their respective tournaments at the weekend were Egypt in the Africa conference and Saudi Arabia in the Middle East.

The North & Central America (Current Generation) and Europe (Current Generation) conferences are up next on April 23-25.

The Open concludes on May 7-9 with the North & Central America (Next Gen), Europe (Next Gen) and South America tournaments.

In coming up with the FIBA Esports Open, the world basketball governing body looks to add further dimension to it as an organization while also affording the basketball community more action amid the coronavirus pandemic. — Michael Angelo S. Murillo

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