The Philippine basketball youth team absorbs its first loss in the FIBA Under-18 Asian Championship
Published 8:21 PM, August 10, 2018
Updated 8:56 PM, August 10, 2018
FIRST SETBACK. Australia proved too strong for AJ Edu and Batang Gilas. Photo from FIBA
MANILA, Philippines – Australia flexed its muscles and eliminated Batang Gilas, 77-43, from title contention in the FIBA Under-18 Asian Championship in Nonthaburi, Thailand on Friday, August 10.
Batang Gilas – already assured of an U19 World Cup berth after landing in the top four – will head to a rematch with China in the battle for third place at 2:30 pm on Saturday, August 11. (READ: Batang Gilas nails World Cup berth)
Australia, the only unbeaten team in the tournament, will advance to the final match against its Oceania neighbor New Zealand tomorrow at 4:45 pm.
AJ Edu dragged Batang Gilas to the finish line with 9 points, 10 rebounds and 3 blocks. Dave Ildefonso mustered 5 points, 2 boards and 2 assists on a 2-of-12 (17%) shooting.
After a neck-and-neck 1st quarter, 14-12, Australia left the Filipino side in the dust with a mighty 30-8 run for a 44-20 advantage at the half. And from there, Batang Gilas couldn’t climb out of the double-digit hole.
Samson Froling led Australia’s impressive balanced attack with 12 points and 7 boards, 3 blocks and 2 steals.
The Aussied led by as many as 41 points, 70-29, after a 10-1 run to begin the 4th quarter.
Even if Batang Gilas loses tomorrow, this is already the country’s best finish in 28 years, since its bronze-medal finish in China at the 1992 tournament.
The Philippines was a wrecking ball in the tournament’s early years, collecting five straight gold-medal finishes from the 1970 inaugural until the 1978 edition of the biennial meet. They would not exit the podium until 1990, where they finished fourth.
Australia 77 – Froling 12, Dalton 10, Stattman 10, Bowen 8, Gatbel 7, Lee 7, Robertson 7, Wigness 7, Leaupepe 6, Krause 3, Armstrong 0.
Philippines 43 – Edu 9, Abadiano 8, Cortez 6, Torres 6, Ildefonso 5, Panopio 4, Oczon 3, Sotto 2, Amsali 0, Chiu 0, Lina 0, Ramirez 0.
Quarters: 14-12, 44-20, 60-28, 77-43.