After 40 years, the Under-18 Boys’ National Basketball Team is headed to the Under-19 World Cup.
In the knockout quarterfinals of the 2018 FIBA Under-18 Asian Championship, Batang Gilas averted a scare before running past Bahrain, 67-52, Thursday afternoon at Stadium 29 in Nonthaburi, Thailand.
The venue for the Under-19 World Cup has yet to be determined. The last time the Philippines reached this age group’s World Cup was back in 1979, finishing in 10th place.
The towering duo of AJ Edu and Kai Sotto made a huge mark in the contest.
Edu tallied 16 points, 17 rebounds, three assists, two steals, and two blocks. Sotto had 21 points, 10 rebounds, and three blocks.
Edu paced Batang Gilas, scoring 12 points in the first quarter alone.
Bahrain limited the 6-foot-11 Fil-Nigerian in the second half. Unfortunately for them, the Philippines had another big man in Kai Sotto.
Sotto powered Batang Gilas’ third quarter surge. Moreover, the duo stifled the young Bahrainis in the final frame, ending the contest with a blistering 20-7 run.
Miguel Oczon added 10 points, while Dalph Panopio dished out eight assists.
Rashed Awadh and Baqer Ali paced Bahrain with 13 points each, with the former grabbing nine rebounds as well.
Still, the goal of winning the entire tournament is the focus of this team. The country has won the U18 Asian Championship six times but last won gold back in 1982.
The Philippines will next face the winner of the Australia-Japan tilt in the knockout semifinals.
Philippines 67 – Sotto 21, Edu 16, Oczon 10, Ildefonso 6, Panopio 4, Abadiano 3, Ramirez 3, Cortez 2, Amsali 2, Torres 0, Lina 0, Chiu 0
Bahrain 52 – Ali R 13, Awadh 13, Rashed M 11, Rashed A 7, Hamoda 2, Aboukuora 2, Kadhem 2, Dindayneh 2, Nawaf 0, Alrowaila 0, Ali A 0, Koohiji 0
Quarterscores: 20-11, 26-34, 48-45, 67-52
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