Batang Gilas trounces HK, meets Japan for WC slot
This is one shot of confidence Batang Gilas Pilipinas can certainly use.
The Filipinos readied themselves for a critical clash with Japan in the Fiba Asia U-16 quarterfinals after closing out their group assignments with a 103-61 shellacking of Hong Kong at Foshan Lingnan Mingzhu gymnasium in China on Thursday.
The 42-point bamboozling gave the Filipinos the momentum they need when they battle the Japanese at 6 p.m. Friday not only for a place in the Final Four but for a spot in the World Under-17 championship slated in Argentina in May.
Japan topped Group D and will also come into its match with the Filipinos flaunting sharp form after clipping defending champion South Korea, 76-73, also Thursday.
Japan evades Australia
The victory by the Japanese enabled them to stay away from Australia in the quarterfinals.
The Aussies, who drew the Koreans, tore the Filipinos to shreds, 82-52, on Wednesday to remain the favorites here.
The game against Hong Kong was the Philippines’ best showing here yet, as the Filipinos shot 41 percent from the field after going 11-for-35 from beyond the arc.
King Balaga and RC Calimag scored 12 points each and led five others in twin digits with the beanpole Kai Sotto shooting 11 and grabbing 12 rebounds in 10 minutes, a ploy which coach Mike Oliver used to keep the 7-foot-1 wonder fresh for the Japanese.
It was also Japan which ousted the Philippines in 2015, and getting payback is an added motivation for this batch of Gilas members.