Towering Sotto leads under-16 Gilas’ trouncing of Singapore | Inquirer Sports

Towering Sotto leads under-16 Gilas’ trouncing of Singapore

By: - Reporter / @cedelfptINQ
/ 12:01 AM May 15, 2017

Jose Miguel Pascual vs Reuben Amado. PBA IMAGES

Jose Miguel Pascual vs Reuben Amado. PBA IMAGES

With Kai Sotto showcasing his ever-improving game, Batang Gilas got its Southeast Asian Basketball Association (Seaba) Under-16 Championships campaign off to a rousing start by demolishing Singapore, 108-42, on Sunday at Smart Araneta Coliseum.

Tipped as a future star of the national team, Sotto, who at 15 is already an inch taller than 6-foot-10 June Mar Fajardo, fired 17 points and grabbed five rebounds to lead Batang Gilas to victory on the first day of the tournament it was expected to dominate.

Rence Padrigao also sparkled with 14 points and six assists for Batang Gilas, which opened the game with a 9-0 run and never looked back.

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“The players were still feeling each other out, but fortunately they recovered right away and focused on defense,” said PH coach Mike Oliver, whose squad guns for its second win against Indonesia at noon on Monday.

“Defensively, we’re there, but the offense needs work because we are still disorganized. But the important thing is following the game plan which is to stay aggressive.”

There was plenty of hype surrounding Sotto and rightly so because of his towering frame. Sotto said he’s ready to mix it up with other big men in the tournament despite his lean frame.

“I’m expecting the physical play,” said the Ateneo standout, named Rookie of the Year in the UAAP juniors.

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“I think that’s the first thing that coach will say every time other players defend me. But I have teammates who help me and give me confidence, which makes my job easier on the court.”

Oliver said Batang Gilas is expecting tougher resistance from Indonesia, which has quicker and defensively sound players.

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PHILIPPINES 108—Sotto 17, Padrigao 14, Fortea 14, Go 11, Guadana 9, Pascual 9, Calimag 9, Lazaro 7, Lina 6, Cortez 6, Chiu 4, Tan 2.

SINGAPORE 42—Teo TL 9, Tor 9, Li 4, Amado 4, Teo ZM 4, Chuabio 4, Chin 4, Soh 2, Tan 2, Lacsado 0, Razali 0, Lim 0.

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Quarters: 33-12, 56-26, 84-35, 108-42

TAGS: business, Gilas Pilipinas

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