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Tiebreaker Times

2017 SEABA Championship

Batang Gilas’ depth showcased in drubbing of Thailand


Batang Gilas Pilipinas is a team overflowing with untapped talent that truly stuns their opponents once they witness their level and style of play. With the talent the team possesses, depth will never be an issue.

And that is what the promising Philippine squad showcased in their 113-46 dismantling of the Thailand youth team in the 2017 SEABA U16 Championship, Wednesday afternoon at the SMART-Araneta Coliseum.

Six players headed Batang Gilas’ merciless attack with their double-digit outputs, but it was San Beda Red Cubs RC Calimag and Migs Pascual, and Ateneo Blue Eaglet Kai Sotto who played remarkably en route to their third win.

And most of all, their respective notable outings helped the Philippines earn one-third of the qualifying spot for the FIBA Asia U-16 Championship later this year.2017-SEABA-U16-Philippines-def-Thailand-Aaron-Wadman Batang Gilas' depth showcased in drubbing of Thailand 2017 SEABA Championship 2017 SEABA U-16 Basketball Gilas Pilipinas News  - philippine sports news

“Ganda ng defense natin especially si RC, mas lalo na dun sa Thai-American,” lauded Batang Gilas head coach Mike Oliver of his Calimag, who not only scored 20 markers but also helped limit Aaron Wadman to just six points after posting norms of 10 points and 12 rebounds.

“Binigay natin kay RC and it was evident,” Oliver added of the 16-year-old, who is now posting norms of 15.3 points and three rebounds.

Pascual, on the other hand, only finished with five markers in 26:31 minutes, but displayed the other facets of his game to be more effective, crashing the boards with nine rebounds and distributed the ball well with six dimes.2017-SEABA-U16-Philippines-def-Thailand-Miguel-Pascual Batang Gilas' depth showcased in drubbing of Thailand 2017 SEABA Championship 2017 SEABA U-16 Basketball Gilas Pilipinas News  - philippine sports news

“Si Migs naman, leadership niya sa team,” Oliver praised the 15-year-old Pascual, who is now averaging 6.6 points, four caroms, and five dimes.

“Both players (Pascual and Calimag) nag-connect pa.”

And lastly, Kai Sotto, who was coming off the bench in their last two games, brought upsides right away as he played as a starter for the first time. His presence, furthermore, proved to be game-changing.2017-SEABA-U16-Philippines-def-Singapore-Kai-Sotto Batang Gilas' depth showcased in drubbing of Thailand 2017 SEABA Championship 2017 SEABA U-16 Basketball Gilas Pilipinas News  - philippine sports news

#ReadMore  Fmr USA Athlete of the Year says Kai Sotto will be drafted in NBA

“Gusto natin ng good start e. Kai and I talked about how super relaxed niya the last two games. Kailangan na niya mag trabaho,” said Oliver of the 14-year-old slotman, who only had six markers but garnered 10 rebounds and three swats.

“Na-attract niya yung defense at nagkaka-opening sa outside. Every time nandiyan si Kai, yung attraction ng defense nandiyan. Instead of mag-help, stick sila kay Kai kaya nao-open yung mga shooters,” he added of Sotto, now averaging 11.6 points, 7.3 boards, and 2.7 blocks.

Now, Batang Gilas is on the verge of winning the Southeast Asian cagefest’s gold medal for the fourth consecutive time. But they have the also-undefeated Malaysia standing in their way, and Oliver is looking forward to their match tomorrow, Thursday.

“Definitely, gusto ng Malaysia na mag-champion. Same standing pa, so again trabahuhin natin yan sa depensa,” said the former FEU Baby Tamaraws mentor.

“Meron din silang good outside shooters at masipag magdepensa. They press full court, yun yung kailangan natin pagtuunan ng pansin.”

Written By

Oftentimes on the sidelines. Forever a student of the game. Morayta-bred.


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