Size became a challenge for Gilas Pilipinas Boys as they began their campaign in the 2023 FIBA Under-16 Asian Championship on Monday (Philippine time).
The Philippines was overwhelmed by the tall China frontline, resulting in a score of 67-84 at Al-Gharafa Sports Club Multi-Purpose Hall in Doha, Qatar.
The young Dragons, who fielded a team with six players standing above 6-foot-8, dominated the boards with a 48-36 advantage. They also scored an impressive 40 points from inside the paint, with 18 of those points coming from second-chance opportunities.
Despite the efforts of Kieffer Alas, the young Gilas squad managed to keep pace with China during the first half. However, in the third quarter, China started to pull away, turning a 44-43 lead into a 68-59 cushion.
In the final frame, it was all China, with 6-foot-8 bigs Zhang Boyuan and Fu Wenhao taking turns pounding Gilas in the paint.
Zhang ended up with 18 points, while Fu tallied 14 points and 10 rebounds. Additionally, Huang Yulin, Wang Zheng, and Liu Li each contributed nine points for China.
As a result of their victories, China and Malaysia, who defeated Kazakhstan 79-71 earlier in the day, now hold the top positions in Group D.
The Philippines is scheduled to face Kazakhstan next on Tuesday.
Alas led the way for Gilas with 20 points and eight rebounds. CJ Amos and Kurt Velasquez added 13 and 12 points, respectively.
Philippines 67 – Alas 20, Amos 13, Velasquez 12, Ludovice 6, Alegre 4, Daja 4, Diao 3, Chua 3, Williams 2, De Liano 0, Morales 0, Banal 0.
China 84 – Zhang 18, Fu 14, Huang 9, Wang 9, Liu 9, He 8, Huan 5, Li 4, Feng 4, Shen 2, Luo 2.
Quarterscores: 24-25, 43-44, 59-68, 67-84.