Kai Sotto of Gilas Pilipinas tosses it in over a UAE guard in Monday’s game in Bangkok.
4 points to take after 4 Batang Gilas matches
Rick Olivares (philstar.com) - August 10, 2018 - 6:09pm

MANILA, Philippines — After four matches, here's what we can infer from Batang Gilas' games  in the FIBA Asia Under-18 World Championships.

Having three frontcourt players score in double digits is massive

AJ Edu and Dalph Panopio are the tournament revelations, but the former is the perfect complement to Kai Sotto.

The three front court players — Sotto, Edu and Dave Ildefonso are all scoring in double digits.

Edu is leading the team in scoring with 15.5 points per game. Sotto’s average is 14.5 while Ildefonso is chipping in 11.3 an outing.

Now, all three rebound and play defense as well. They can all bring up the ball and pass so that gives the Philippines an opportunity to run the break.

It is nice having rim protectors like Kai Sotto and AJ Edu

The Philippines is second behind India (yes, India is leading the way with 8.0 rejections a match) in blocked shots with 6.3 per game.

Edu is swatting three shots a game while Sotto rejects two enemy missiles per match. Not bad! And both are athletic and mobile too! The two, along with Raven Cortez, have made life difficult inside the lane for opposing teams.

We need to do a better job on getting out on the break

Batang Gilas has outrebounded its opponents on the defensive end, yet the fast break points aren’t much. They had a 41-26 advantage against Lebanon, yet the latter had more fast break points, 16-10! Against UAE, there was a 35-19 disparity in defensive boards and yet only an 8-2 advantage in fast break points. Against China, the Philippines had a 42-31 edge in defensive boards but China had a slight advantage in fast break points, 19-18.

In the quarterfinals match against Bahrain, the gulf team was four boards behind the Philippines, 33-29, but both teams had two fast break points each.

Just wondering: are we running more half court sets? Sure, but if they can run, why not? Speed has always been one of the Philippines’ advantages.

In my opinion, the ability of Dalph Panopio and Dave Ildefonso to get to the rim adds a huge dimension to the Philippine attack.

Hopefully, we can see more playing time for the bench

I noticed that there are instances when it was time to rest the starters, but they’d still be out on the floor. With only one day of rest between the group stage and the knockout stage, any form of rest is great. We’d like to see a bit more playing time for Rhayyan Amsali, Bismarck Lina and Gio Chiu. The minutes will add to their confidence.

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