Batang Gilas forges last-8 clash with Taiwanese
The Philippines will battle Chinese Taipei in the knockout quarterfinals Tuesday after finishing third in Group E of the second round of the Fiba Asia Under-18 Championship in Doha, Qatar.
Led by Radge Tongco, Joshua Caracut and Kobe Paras, Batang Gilas wrapped up its elimination assignments with a 3-2 record after nosing out Malaysia, 72-69, Sunday night (Monday morning in Manila) at Al-Gharafa Stadium.
Caracut buried the game-winning triple with 24 seconds left.
Tongco topscored anew with 22 points, while Paras (12 points, four rebounds, three steals) and Mark Dyke (10 points, 10 rebounds) also delivered excellent all-around games for Batang Gilas.
The Philippines finished third in Group E behind defending champion China (5-0) and last edition’s runner-up South Korea (4-1), while Chinese Taipei wound up second with a 4-1 slate in Group F behind topnotcher Iran (5-0).
The showdown with the Taiwanese is set at 5 p.m. Tuesday (10 p.m. in Manila).
Other quarterfinal pairings pit South Korea against Japan, China versus Kazakhstan, and Iran against Malaysia.
Before winning over Malaysia, Batang Gilas picked up victories over Jordan (85-60) and Qatar (82-79), but absorbed blowout losses to powerhouses South Korea (69-87) and China (49-91).
The top three finishers in the 14-nation tournament will represent Asia in the Fiba Under-19 World Championship in Greece next year.