After a clean 4-0 record, the Thailand national team is looking to win it all at the 2019 Southeast Games in Manila, Philippines.
Thai-American Tyler Lamb, the team’s go-to scorer, was limited but still finished with 15 points and 10 rebounds in the semifinal match against Vietnam.
The victory brought Thailand back to the gold medal match after SEA Games after a six-year absence, once again facing another undefeated Gilas Pilipinas squad. Thus, a collective effort win against Vietnam served well as a confidence builder for the team.
“I’m very proud of our team. It’s been six years and I never played in a gold medal game, so this is huge for me,” said Lamb, who also plays for Mono Vampire in the ASEAN Basketball League.
Thailand’s bench production has been vital as well, scoring 42 points in comparison to Vietnamv’s bench, who only managed four points.
Lamb also acknowledged and added how the team’s facilitator Nattakarn Muangboon changed the game in second half, saying: “Armz (Nattakarn Muangboon) hit some big shots and put the pressure to them (Vietnam).”
Thailand who finished as bronze medalist in last SEA Games, aiming to go all the way since the beginning of preparation for this tourney in Manila. And the Thais want to win this gold medal badly, for the people and country.
“We are not worried about any other team, we are focusing on us. Our mentality has been the same since we’ve been preparing for this tournament. I feel if we play our best basketball we can win the gold medal.”
Head coach Chris Daleo also remains poised in the upcoming big event, saying they will have the same fighting mentality regardless of the opponent in the gold medal match.
“As a coach, it doesn’t matter who we face, I want to put the best product that fans can see. They play well and organized. We gonna do what we do.”
“Every team have scorers, three-point shooters. Stats are important, but guys like (Chatpol Chungyampin), he doesn’t need to put up any points, but his defensive presence and communication on defense are invaluable. And that doesn’t show on stats line,” acknowledged head coach Chris Daleo.
The 28 year-old Lamb stressed their mindset going into the semi-finals, saying: “We come to play for gold and win the gold, period.”
Thailand will face heavy favorites and hosts Philippines in the Final, while Vietnam faces the Indonesia for the bronze, both games today at the Mall of Asia Arena.
Follow us on Twitter at @aseansports1.