Batang Gilas advances to semis

THE Batang Gilas recovered from a second quarter meltdown to pull off a 67-52 win over Bahrain and secure a semifinal seat in the 2018 Fiba Under-18 Asian Championship at the Stadium 29 in Nonthaburi, Thailand yesterday.

After a strong 20-11 start in the first quarter, the Batang Gilas blew a 13-point lead in the second quarter as they were on the wrong end of an emphatic 21-0 Bahrain run.

Ariel John Edu scored a two-pointer with 7:24 left in the second quarter to extend the Philippines lead to 13 before Batang Gilas went scoreless at the remainder of the second quarter and faced a 34-26 deficit at the half.

Batang Gilas found its rhythm again in the third quarter as it came out from the dugout blazing, staging a 10-2 run capped off by the 6-foot-11 Edu’s two-pointer to make it 36-all.

The 7-foot-1 Kai Zachary Sotto’s alley-oop gave Philippines the lead, 38-36, at 6:16 in the third quarter.

Miguel Andre Oczon drilled a booming three-pointer about a minute after the alley-oop to make it 41-36. The action went back-and-forth and Batang Gilas headed to the final quarter with a slim 48-45 edge.

Batang Gilas opened the fourth quarter with a 7-0 run to erect a double digit lead, 55-45. Raven Angelo Cortez started it out with a corner trey followed with the alley-oop dunk by Sotto and a mid-range jumper from Dalph Adem Panopio.

Batang Gilas did not look back and finished the game with a 12-7 blitz for the final tally at 67-52.

Edu filled the stats sheets with 16 points,17 rebounds on top of three assists, two steals and two blocks to lead the Batang Gilas who will face the winner between Australia and Japan in the semis.

Sotto had an equally impressive performance with 21 points from an efficient 9-of-13 shooting. He also grabbed 10 rebounds and had three blocks.

Batang Gilas imposed its will early in the game after Sean Dave Ildefonso, the son of PBA legend Danny, hit back-to-back three-pointers for a 12-7 lead with four minutes in the opening quarter.

The Philippines came off a confidence-boosting 73-63 win over Asian powerhouse China in Group B the other day. Batang Gilas remained unbeaten through for games.

The Philippines will take on Australia in the semis after the Aussies won over Japan, 88-52. The other semifinals will between New Zealand and the winner between Korea and China. (RSC)

Source: Ph Local

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