Batang Gilas a win away from FIBA U19 World Cup berth
MANILA Philippines (UPDATED) – The future of Philippine basketball sure looks good.
Batang Gilas moved within a win of a FIBA Under-19 World Cup berth after a hot start in the FIBA U18 Asian Championship at Nonthaburi, Thailand.
The Philippine basketball youth team – which completed a surprise sweep of the group stage – will face Bahrain next in a quarterfinal match where a semifinal slot and a World Cup berth are up for grabs.
The top 4 in the 16-team field will represent Asia in the 2019 FIBA U19 World Cup.
Bahrain turned back Chinese Taipei in a 76-65 stunner in their knockout duel for the last quarterfinal berth on Wednesday night, August 8.
The Philippines and Bahrain will clash in a do-or-die match on Thursday, August 9 at 1:45 pm, Manila time.
Led by AJ Edu, Dalph Panopio, Kai Sotto and Dave Ildefonso, Batang Gilas completed a 3-0 sweep of Group B capped by a stunning victory over traditional powerhouse China.
Behind Ildefonso, Batang Gilas shocked China, 73-63, to top Group B and secure an outright quarterfinal slot last Tuesday, August 7.
The young Nationals previously lost to China by an average of 33.7 points in 3 previous meetings.
If Batang Gilas wound up securing a FIBA U19 world berth, it would be another successful run for the young Filipino crew, who also clinched a berth in the FIBA Under-17 World Cup where they nabbed a record-high world finish at 13th overall last July. – Rappler.com