Just like in the FIBA Under-16 Asian Championship last April, the Philippines Boys’ National Basketball Team was not able to make it to the podium in the Under-18 division.
In the bronze medal match of the 2018 FIBA Under-18 Asian Championship, Batang Gilas Pilipinas could not find their next gear against China, bowing 57-76, Saturday afternoon at Studio 29 in Nonthaburi, Thailand.
Still, it was mission accomplished for Batang Gilas as they have already qualified for the 2019 FIBA Under-18 World Cup. Moreover, this is the country’s best finish in the continental meet since 1992 when the Philippines finished in third place during that year’s edition of the tourney.
This was a bounce back game for the young Chinese on the other hand as they fell to the Philippines last August 7, 73-63, to close out the group stages.
Kai Sotto had 16 points and eight rebounds in the loss. AJ Edu, on the other hand, was limited to just 14 points on 5-for-15 shooting to go along with eight rebounds.
But it was not just Edu as for the second straight game, the young Filipinos struggled to find their shots. Against Australia in the semifinals, Batang Gilas shot just 24 percent from the field. This time around, they went a combined a 21-for-59 from the field.
China played in a blistering pace during the first half as China’s youth team scored 27 points in the opening frame. Equally impressive was their defense as they limited Batang Gilas to just 12 points in the second frame.
Behind Sotto, the Philippines was able to cut a once 20-point lead down to just 13 late in the third canto. However, China was able to pick it up once again in the final frame, extending their lead to as high as 23 points late in the game.
Dalph Panopio went just 2-for-10 from the field while Sean Ildefonso missed nine of his 13 attempts.
Wang Quanze powered China with 27 points and 14 rebounds. Xu Jie filled up the stat sheet with 18 points, seven assists, and five rebounds.
Philippines 57 – Sotto 16, Edu 14, Ildefonso 9, Oczon 7, Panopio 5, Abadiano 2, Amsali 2, Cortez 2, Lina 0, Ramirez 0, Torres 0.
China 76 – Wang QZ 27, Xu 18, Li 9, Guo 8, Jiang HR 7, Wang YZ 7, Chen 0, Shi 0.
Quarterscores: 14-27, 26-43, 43-59, 57-76.