Seaba U16 tourney: Energen PH wins all 4 games to title
BANTING CITY, Malaysia— The Energen Pilipinas Under-16 Youth Team fittingly capped its dominant run with a crown.
Living up to their pre-tournament tag as favorites, the young Nationals completed a championship sweep of the first Southeast Asian Basketball Association (Seaba) U16 for Men after trouncing Singapore, 70-52, Saturday night at the Kuala Langat Gym here.
The Philippines relied on big men Gelo Vito and Arvin Tolentino in the paint to buck its worst shooting night (13 percent) and pull off a four-game sweep.
“Mission accomplished,” said national youth coach Olsen Racela. “Although Singapore held us to our lowest output, we’ll take it.”
The title romp in the five-nation event also gave the Philippines the first of three slots to the Fiba Asia U16 tournament set on Oct. 18 to 28 in Nha Trang City, Vietnam.
Runners-up Malaysia (3-1) and Indonesia (2-2) earned berths as well in the next youth tournament, which will pit Asia’s best basketball nations for slots in the 2012 Fiba U17 World Championship.
“This is just one step,” said Racela. “We realized we have a difficult time playing against the zone (defense). So we’ll concentrate on that in our training, especially with the addition of more players.”
The Philippines missed all its 22 attempts from three-point range, but pulled away early after holding down Singapore to just 18 points in the first half.
Vito led with 13 points and six rebounds while Tolentino—the tournament’s best performer with averages of 19.5 points and eight boards—had 13 markers and five rebounds.
Singapore closed to within seven, 48-41, in the third quarter but Vito, Tolentino and guard Rev Diputado combined to quash the rally.
“On a scale of 1 to 10, we’re still an eight,” noted Racela. “But I’m proud of the boys. Our first two games actually surprised me.”
The Philippines also routed Malaysia (91-64), Indonesia (109-46) and Laos (101-57).
Singapore wound up with a 1-3 record, while Laos dropped all of its four assignments.
PHILIPPINES 70 — Vito 13, Tolentino 13, Diputado 9, Pascual 8, Cani 8, Lao 8, Asilum 5, Brill 2, Tongco 2, Javelosa 2, Babilonia 0.
SINGAPORE 52 — Lim 11, Goh 10, Tay A. 8, Toh 7, Chua 5, Tay W. 4, Han 4, Lee 3, Cheok 0, Tee 0, Ng 0, Ridzuan 0.
Quarters: 17-6, 34-18, 50-41, 70-52
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