Batang Gilas destroyed all of its opposition through four days of action in the 2015 SEABA Under-16 Championship in Cagayan De Oro City, to successfully defend its gold medal and book a ticket to the 2015 FIBA Asia Under-16 Championship later this year.
Mentored by Mike Oliver, the Philippines ran over Malaysia (106-69), Thailand (105-48), Brunei (112-31), and Indonesia (106-50) for a perfect record.
Samjosef Belangel flirted with a triple-double against Indonesia, finishing with 18 points, 7 rebounds, and 8 assists to pace the Philippine side.
Jonas Raphael Tibayan had 14 points and 12 rebounds while Shaun Ildefonso added 12 points in the win.
The home side scored 72 points in the paint in a showcase of strength and speed, and had a 60-44 rebounding edge against the Indonesians.
The team’s pesky defense also drew 36 turnovers from Indonesia and turned into 42 turnover points.
The 2015 FIBA Asia Under-16 Championship will be held in India from July 2 to 12 and shall serve as a qualifier for the 2016 FIBA Under-17 World Championship.
The 2013 team led by Jolo Mendoza and twins Matt and Mike Nieto placed second in the 2013 edition of the FIBA Asia Under-16 Championship and went on to play in the 2014 FIBA Under-17 World Championship, a feat the current team hopes to accomplish as well.