Batang Gilas yields to Greece, faces USA next to end Fiba U17 stint
Batang Gilas Pilipinas showed quite a fight before yielding to a hot-shooting Greece side, 65-85, Sunday morning (Manila time) in Group A action in the Fiba U17 World Championship n Dubai.
The young Nationals stood toe-to-toe against the taller Greeks in the early goings behind Jolo Mendoza’s play. But the complexion of the game quickly turned against the Filipinos after the Greeks got going from the outside that made them basically impossible to defend given their superior size advantage.
It didn’t take long before the Philippines fell behind by a large margin – with Greece’s lead growing as big as 32, 60-28, late in the third quarter where the Filipinos went without a field goal.
The Philippines, which bowed to African champion Angola, 72-82, Friday night, faced just an eight-point deficit at the end of the opening quarter before Greece started connecting from long range to take a 46-26 halftime lead.
The Greeks picked up where they left off as they started the third period with an 8-0 run – pouncing on the Filipinos’ lapses.
But despite the 20-point setback, Batang Gilas still got itself many reasons to keep its head high with the kind of effort the Filipinos put in. Mendoza led the Nationals in scoring for the second straight time with 19 points, 11 coming in the first half while Mike Nieto notched a double-double with 11 points and 13 rebounds.
Antonis Pefanis led Greece with 26 points on an efficient six-of-11 shooting from deep. The Greeks made 13 3-pointers.
The Philippines takes on unbeaten USA, which is coming off a 43-point win over Angola, on Monday.
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