MANILA, Philippines – The Batang Gilas national youth team came up short in their first game in the FIBA Under-17 World Championship in Dubai, falling to Angola, 82-72, on Friday, August 8.
The much taller Angola proved too much for coach Jamike Jarin and his young squad, who were out-rebounded 70-46.
Alexandre Jungo led Angola with 26 points and 11 rebounds, while Eric Amandio added 17 markers and 12 boards.
Despite disadvantages, the Philippines still put up a gallant stand, fighting to chop the deficit until the final buzzer sounded.
Overcoming a 13-point 52-39 disadvantage in the third, Batang Gilas came to within 7 points twice in the final minute of the ballgame.
Paul Desiderio (9 points, 10 rebounds) scored a bucket with 43 seconds left that made it just a 77-70 affair. But a pair of freebies from Edmilson Miranda (12 points, 4 assists) pushed Angola’s lead back up to 79-70 with 23 ticks on the clock.
Arnie Padilla gave Gilas one last gasp with a basket, his only two points of the contest, with 19 seconds to go, 79-72, before Angola put the game out of reach.
Jose Mendoza led the scoring for Batang Gilas with 16 points. Jose Go and Diego Dario also added 13 and 12 markers, respectively.
Against the size of Angola, Batang Gilas played to their strength in speed, forcing 22 turnovers along with 10 steals on their opponents and at the same time taking better care of the leather with just 9 miscues.
But they were unable to capitalize as they scored only 10 turnover points.
With the big guys of Angola clogging the paint, controlling the boards and making sure there was always a hand on Batang Gilas’ faces with each shot attempt, the Philippines shot just 33% overall, while Angola had a much better 42%.
The might of Angola was especially glaring in their 21-2 advantage in second-chance points and the 7-1 disparity in blocks.
The Philippine youth team is competing in Group A and is slated to go up against Greece and two-time defending champions USA on Saturday and Monday, respectively. – Rappler.com
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