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Gallant Batang Gilas loses heartbreaker to Korea



Batang Gilas rallied back from a double-digit deficit in the fourth quarter but struggled to score down the stretch as they dropped their first FIBA Asia U16 Championship match in heartbreaking fashion to Korea, 77-74 Monday in Jakarta, Indonesia.

Lee Jung Hyun’s basket pushed the Koreans ahead, 67-57 early in the fourth period before the Philippines side staged a comeback.

A 6-0 run behind four points from Jonas Tibayan pulled the nationals within 62-67. Later, back to back baskets by Gian Mamuyac followed by a triple by Kris Pagsanjan and another bucket by Tibayan made it only a one-point Korea lead, 73-72 with only 2:13 left in the game.

Lee Hyun Jung however, drained a clutch triple in the final 1:12, pushing the lead to 76-72.

Mamuyac, Tibayan, and SJ Belangel all missed attempts under the last minute, although a turnover by Lee Hyun Jung with only 17 seconds left gave Batang Gilas some hope.

Jason Credo scored a quick two with only 9 seconds left, before Kim Dong Jun made one of two charities, 77-74. Credo got the rebound off the missed free throw but Belangel’s long range shot failed to hit the mark, allowing Korea to escape.

Mamuyac paced the nationals with 18 points while Tibayan chipped in 17 points and 12 rebounds.

The Philippines had a 47-39 rebounding edge surprisingly although the team shot only 21.1 percent from three-point area and committed five more turnovers, 17-12.

Lee Hyun Jung had 22 points to topscore for Korea while Shin Min Suk had an all-around game of 17 points, 15 rebounds, and 7 assists.

Korea and Batang Gilas both sport 3-1 records in Group F but the Philippines will still face China tomorrow in their last second round game.

A win may put the Philippines to a quarter-final showdown against Lebanon, while a loss may pit them against either Japan or Chinese Taipei.

The Scores:
Korea (77) – Lee H. 22, Shin 17, Yang 16, Kim 12, Lee J. 6, Seo 4, Park 0.
Philippines (74) – Mamuyac 18, Tibayan 17, Pagsanjan 15, Belangel 11, Gozum 8, Credo 3, Gomez de Liano 2, Publico 0, Ildefonso 0.
Quarterscores: 25-20, 42-37, 62-55, 77-74.