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Batang Gilas falls to Japan, stumbles out of FIBA Asia U16



Batang Gilas’ quest for a World Championship berth was derailed after falling to Japan, 73-66 in the 2015 FIBA Asia U16 Championship quarter-final Thursday in Jakarta, Indonesia.

The Japanese side came out on fire, draining three triples including two from Yudai Nishida to hold a 17-1 lead over Batang Gilas.

Juan Gerardo Gomez de Liano ended the drought for the nationals, scoring the team’s first field goal but Nishida drilled his third three later on to hand Japan a 23-9 lead after the first quarter.

A strong start in the second period gave Japan its biggest gap of the first half at 28-9, but once Sean Ildefonso and SJ Belangel found their groove, the Philippines was able to trim the deficit down to 34-25 halfway in the same period.

Japan however, closed the first half on an 12-5 note to hold a sizable 46-30 margin. The East Asian country seized control in the second half, scoring seven straight to make it 53-30.

In the fourth quarter, Belangel spearheaded a 14-2 Batang Gilas run, cutting the 71-52 deficit into only a 73-66 Japanese lead with only 1:32 remaining, but Japan was able to weather the Philippines’ final push towards the end.

Unlike in their match against China where the nationals shot 46 percent from three-point area, the Philippines came out flat from the field, shooting only 36.5 percent overall and 20 percent from long range.

Nishida led Japan with 20 points including 15 in the first half and 8 rebounds while Taiga Kagitomi added 16 points.

Belangel poured 20 markers for the Philippines, which shall settle for the 5th-8th classification and shall face Thailand tomorrow, Friday.

The Scores:
Japan (73) – Nishida 20, Kagitomi 16, Takahara 12, Ito 6, Hachimura 5, Mimori 4, Miyamoto 4, Tsuchiya 2, Tsuneta 2, Nakata 0.
Philippines (66) – Belangel 20, Credo 11, Pagsanjan 9, Ildefonso 8, Tibayan 8, Gozum 6, Gomez de Liano 2, Mamuyac 2,Publico 0, Lagumen 0, Flores 0.
Quarterscores: 23-9, 46-30, 63-45, 73-66.

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