E-Gilas Pilipinas reclaimed the regional crown in the FIBA Esports Open III Southeast Asia conference after sweeping Indonesia, 2-0, in the finals on Sunday, April 18.
MVP Aljon “Shintarou” Cruzin sustained his tournament-long fiery shooting in the championship series to lift the Laus Playbook Esports-backed Nationals back to the top of the regional tilt.
E-Gilas scraped past Indonesia, 60-53, in Game 1 before coming up with a gritty 44-36 victory in Game 2 to regain the throne it lost to Australia in the previous edition last year.
“It means a lot to represent the Philippines again and reclaim the Southeast Asia conference title,” said veteran Rial “Rial” Polog Jr. in the post-match interview.
Also composing E-Gilas are Philippe “IzzoIV-” Herrero, Clark “Clark” Banzon, Custer “Custer” Galas, Arnie “ElChapo” Sison and Ian “Ian” Santiago under head coach Nite Alparas and team manager Richard Brojan.
Shintarou fired from all cylinders to lead the PH squad with 25 points to go with 11 assists while IzzoIV- chipped in 20 markers and eight rebounds in the series opener.
With the Indonesians up 48-47 barely three minutes left in Game 1, Shintarou scored 11 of the Filipinos’ last 13 points to secure the head start in the series.
Once again, Shintarou spearheaded E-Gilas’ offense in Game 2 as he poured 19 points highlighted by five triples.
Shintarou and the crew pulled away from a close first half as they uncorked a 14-point blast for a commanding 35-21 advantage heading to the final quarter.