Gilas boys drop down to battle for bronze

John Bryan Ulanday - The Philippine Star
Gilas boys drop down to battle for bronze
Gilas boys' team bows to Australia

MANILA, Philippines — The Gilas Pilipinas boys’ amazing run came to an end, following a 92-36 blowout loss to Australia in the FIBA U16 Asian Championship semifinals yesterday at the Al-Gharafa Sports Club Multi-Purpose Hall in Doha, Qatar.

After a four-game win streak, Gilas was clamped down to just 10 points in the first half, including a meager three-point outing in the second period, that took the fight out of the squad.

With the loss to Australia, the Gilas teens were relegated to a battle for the bronze against China, which absorbed an 86-69 loss to New Zealand in the other semis pairing.

No player finished in double figures for the usually balanced Gilas unit with ace Kieffer Louie Alas bleeding for only two points on 1-of-7 shooting after averaging 18.6 points in the first four games.

Irus Chua and CJ Amos top scored with six points apiece for the Gilas boys failed to get into the game against the tall, mighty Aussies.

Gilas shot only 28.9 percent from the field, including 3-of-33 from the trey, compared to Australia’s efficient 57-percent clip.

Ranged against the back-to-back champion Aussies whose smallest player stands at 6-foot-3, Gilas was terribly beaten in rebounding.

The Aussies outrebounded the Filipinos, 73-31, leading to a 27-9 advantage in second-chance points, and 62-16 on points in the paint.

But the loss could not dampen the Filipino teens’ stellar campaign that netted them a sure ticket to the 2024 FIBA U17 World Cup in Turkey.

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