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MANILA, Philippines – Gilas Boys missed out on a podium finish in the 2023 FIBA U16 Asian Championship after bowing to China in the bronze medal match, 87-59, on Sunday, September 24, in Doha, Qatar.
Playing in its seventh game in eight days, the Philippines ran out of steam late in the second quarter as China went on a furious 14-2 tear in the dying minutes of the first half to stretch its slim 30-27 lead into a 44-29 halftime advantage.
Coming off the break, China then uncorked another 10-1 rally in the first three minutes of the third period to increase the gap further to 24 points, 54-30, which ultimately put the Filipinos away for good.
Gilas Boys, who fell prey to the same opponents in their tournament opener, had no answers for Boyuan Zhang as the Chinese forward went off for 34 points on a red-hot 7-of-9 shooting from beyond the arc.
Seven-footer Sinan Huan also imposed his will down low against the smaller Gilas Boys frontline with an all-around performance of 14 points, 11 rebounds, 4 assists, and 5 blocks.
Joaquin Ludovice led the Philippines in scoring with 15 points, while Kieffer Alas – who was named to the tournament’s All-Star Five – and Irus Chua had 13 and 10 points, respectively.
Despite failing to capture the bronze medal, the Philippines will see action in next year’s FIBA U17 World Cup in Turkey by virtue of a top four finish in the tournament, together with China, New Zealand, and gold medal winner Australia.
China 87 – Zhang 34, Huan 14, Wang 12, Shen 9, He 5, Huang 4, Li 3, Luo 3, Fu 3, Liu 0, Feng 0.
Philippines 59 – Ludovice 15, Alas 13, Chua 10, Morales 8, Velasquez 4, Williams 2, Diao 2, Alegre 2, Amos 2, Daja 1, Banal 0, Gomez de Liaño 0.
Quarters: 20-17, 44-29, 70-37, 87-59.