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Gilas Boys face potential worst finish in FIBA Under-17 after loss to China


Gilas Pilipinas Boys bowed to the young Dragons of China, 85-66, to further fall in the classification phase of the FIBA Under-17 World Cup 2024 on Saturday at Ahmet Comert Sports Hall in Turkey.

The Philippines is looking of avoid its worst finish in three appearances in the Under-17 worlds, previously finishing 15th in 2014 and 13th in 2018.

Playing without their ace Kieffer Alas, who suffered a sprained ACL a day prior to the competition in a tune-up against Canada, no game was close for the young Filipinos.

During the group stages, Gilas lost to Lithuania, Spain, and Puerto Rico, in that order, with an average margin of 55.33 points per game.

In the round of 16, the Philippines was overpowered by Team USA, absorbing a harsh 45-141 beatdown to drop to the classification stage.

Their classification game against Argentina was the closest the Philippines got in terms of losing margin, falling 67-83.

Then came the China game — a battle for pride for both nations.

However, like their encounter in Doha a year ago that saw them suffer a 59-87 defeat in the bronze medal match, Gilas could not contain the Dragons.

China, playing with purpose, blasted the Philippines with a 12-2 start and never looked back.

The lead would grow to as high as 30 points, 68-38, after a He Wenwei triple with 2:41 left in the third stanza.

By then, it was all but over.

Gilas had four players scoring in double-digits with Joaquin Ludovice leading the way with 15 points, six rebounds, and four assists.

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CJ Amos got 14 points while Edryn Morales and Bonn Daja added 12 apiece.

The Philippines will await the loser of the Australia-Guinea game later in the day.

China outclassed the Philippines in the match-up, winning the rebounding battle, 56-35, while going 44.4-percent from the field compared to 35.71-percent for its opponents.

Li Yuezhou tallied a double-double for China with 24 points and 12 rebounds while He fired four triples for 17 markers.


The Scores:

China 85 Li 24, He 17, Zhang 11, Fu 10, Wang 10, Liu L. 6, Shen 4, Fu 3, Chen 0, Liu Y. 0, Feng o.

Philippines 66 – Ludovice 15, Amos 14, Daja 12, Morales 12, Velasquez 5, Banal 5, Diao 2, Alegre 1, Gomez de Liano 0, Chua 0, Williams 0.

Quarterscores: 29-12, 55-32, 68-43, .85-66.

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