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Gilas take on Lebanon with U19 World Cup seat at stake


Just one game separates Mason Amos and Gilas Pilipinas Boys’ under-18 team and their mission.

On Wednesday, the Philippines, who ended the pool stages with a pristine 3-0 record, will face the Baby Cedars in the knockout quarters of the 2022 FIBA Under-18 Asian Championship.

At stake? A ticket to the 2023 FIBA Under-19 World Cup in Hungary.

The game tips off at 2:45 PM.

On paper, the Philippines can easily dispose of Lebanon, which ended its pool stage campaign with a 1-1 record — defeating Iran, 65-63, on opening day before losing to Japan, 63-84.

The offense of Josh Reyes’ squad puts up 72.5 points per game — just 3.7 points behind Chinese-Taipei who they defeated on the final day of pool play. Lebanon only puts up a paltry 61.8 points while allowing 73.5 points.

Though the rebounding battle is even, Lebanon relies more on isolation plays — a no-no against Gilas.

Of course, leading the charge for the Filipino is Amos, who is averaging a tournament-high 27.0 points per game.

2022-FIBA-Under-16-Asia-Cup-Gilas-vs-Japan-Jared-Bahay Gilas take on Lebanon with U19 World Cup seat at stake Basketball Gilas Pilipinas News  - philippine sports news

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Supporting him are Jared Bahay (9.7 PPG, 6.0 APG, 3.0 RPG), Seven Gagate (10.7 PPG, 5.3 RPG), Joshua Coronel (9.3 PPG, 4.0 RPG), EJ Abadam (9.3 PPG, 5.0 RPG), and Luis Pablo (7.0 RPG).

The one Lebanese player Gilas must be wary of is 6-foot-8 Karim Rtail, who is averaging 17.5 points, 8.0 rebounds, 2.5 steals, and 1.5 blocks per contest.

One thing that will be worrisome for Gilas is that they are playing their fourth game in as many days. They will also play their second game in less than 17 hours.

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Reyes though has distributed the minutes of the boys well so far with only Amos, Coronel, Pablo, and Kyle Gamber playing more than 20 minutes per contest.

In other quarterfinals matchups, China will face Qatar, Chinese-Taipei-takes on Japan, while Iran squares off against Korea.

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