Batang Gilas pounds Indonesia to sweep SEABA U-16 championship

MANILA, Philippines - The Philippines proved they are still the best under-16 hoops team in the region, completing a sweep of the Southeast Asia Basketball Association (SEABA) U-16 championship with a 106-50 rout of Indonesia on Sunday, April 19 at Xavier University Gymnasium in Cagayan de Oro. 

Batang Gilas guard SJ Belangel of Bacolod Tay Tung High School led all scorers with 18 points to go with 7 rebounds and 8 assists while Jonas Tibayan added 14 points and 9 rebounds. 

Juan Maulana topscored for Indonesia with 12 points and 4 rebounds while Agassi Yeshe Goantara added 11 and 9. 

The Philippines weren’t as efficient on offense as they had been in previous games, shooting 43.9% from the field and 24.2% from 3-point range. Those figures however trump Indonesia, which made just 2-17 from 3-point range and shot 31.7% overall.

The win capped off a tournament which highlighted the Philippines’ relatively advanced basketball program in the region as they won all four of their games as host nation with a point difference of +231. The Philippines has won the championship all three times the bi-annual tournament has been held since 2011. 

The top three teams, the Philippines, Malaysia and Indonesia, all qualified for the 2015 FIBA Asia U-16 Championship, which will be held from July 2-12 in Bangalore, India. The Philippines finished second in the 2013 edition, falling to China, 85-78. China has won every edition since it began in 2011.  

The winner of the FIBA Asia U-16 tournament will be qualified for the FIBA U-17 World Cup in 2016. -