Energen U-18 sweeps way to Seaba title
Philippine Daily Inquirer
DOMINATING yet again, the Energen Pilipinas under-18 team blasted Indonesia, 81-57, yesterday to complete a title sweep of the 8th Southeast Asian Basketball Association (Seaba) U-18 Championship for Men.
Jay Alejandro knocked in 18 points and Rey Nambatac collected 15 markers, fours assists and four steals to lead the Nationals in ruling the the five-nation tournament at the Singapore Basketball Center.
Kyle Suarez also finished a rebound-shy of a double-double with 13 points and nine boards as the Philippines banked on a strong second half to pull away from a tight 34-28 halftime advantage.
With national youth coach Olsen Racela at the helm, the Philippines defended the crown for the third straight edition and earned a return trip to the Fiba Asia Under-18 set Aug. 17 to 26 in Ulaanbaatar, Mongolia.
Runner-up Indonesia (3-1) also secured the right to represent the region as the tournament awards the top three teams with the same incentive.
Malaysia and Singapore, both tied at 1-2, were disputing the last berth up for grabs at press time.
Mentored by Filipino coach Nat Canson, Indonesia headed into the final day of the tournament highly touted after also staying unbeaten in three games.
Jan Panagan wound up as the only double-digit finisher for the Indonesians with 13 points.
On Thursday night, the Philippines also needed a strong second-half outing to down Malaysia, 84-65, on the penultimate day of the single round-robin competition.
Mario Bonleon drilled 16 points, while Jay Alejandro and Mark Olayon combined for 25 to help the Philippines pull away from a slim 43-42 edge at the break. Jasmine W. Payo
PHILIPPINES 81—Alejandro 18, Nambatac 15, Suarez 13, Lao 7, Cani 6, De Leon 5, Morada 5, Javelosa 4, Rivero 4, Bonleon 4, Olayon 0, Go 0.
INDONESIA 57—Panagan 13, Andriano 9, Kokodiputro 8, Oei 6, Seputra 6, Kosasih 5, Sitorus 5, Tuasela 2, Baskoro 3, Abraham 0, Halim 0, Pratama 0,
Quarters: 22-15, 34-28, 61-49, 81-57