Asian basketball

Gilas Youth turns back Iran to end FIBA Asia U16 at 7th

Delfin Dioquino
Gilas Youth turns back Iran to end FIBA Asia U16 at 7th

GUNNER. Alex Konov (middle) sparks a third-quarter turnaround as Gilas Youth topples Iran.


Gilas Youth draws prolific performances from Alex Konov, Caelum Harris, and Jared Bahay to pull off a come-from-behind win over Iran

MANILA, Philippines – Gilas Youth ended its FIBA U16 Asian Championship campaign on a winning note after a come-from-behind 95-87 victory over Iran in Doha, Qatar, on Sunday, June 19.

Five players scored in double figures as the Philippines fought back from a 13-point deficit to snap a two-game skid and finish seventh in the 13-team tournament.

Alex Konov shot the lights out off the bench by netting a team-high 18 points on a 4-of-9 clip from three-point land for the Filipinos, who also drew prolific performances from Caelum Harris, Jared Bahay, and Andy Gemao.

Iran held a 50-39 lead early in the third quarter before Konov caught fire, knocking down a pair of triples and scoring 8 points in an 11-2 spurt that cut their deficit to 50-52.

A 9-2 blitz propped up the Iran lead to 9 points, but the Philippines answered with a blazing 16-2 run – with Gemao dropping all of his 7 points during the stretch – to seize a 68-63 lead going into the final frame.

Harris finished with 15 points, 6 rebounds, 3 assists, and 2 blocks, while Bahay capped an impressive tournament run with all-around numbers of 13 points, 7 assists, 6 rebounds, and 3 steals.

Renzo Competente also shone in the victory with 14 points, including the trey that gave Gilas Youth its biggest lead of the game at 84-70 with under six minutes left.

Zain Mahmood tallied 11 points and 5 rebounds for the Philippines, Jacob Bayla had 9 points, and Kris Porter added 7 points, 6 assists, and 4 rebounds.

Three players dropped at least 20 points for the Iranians, but their third-quarter collapse proved costly as they wrapped up the tournament with three straight losses.

Mohammadamin Khosravi paced Iran with 28 points and 7 rebounds.

The Scores

Philippines 95 – Konov 18, Harris 15, Competente 14, Bahay 13, Mahmood 11, Bayla 9, Porter 7, Gemao 7, Jones 1, Reyes 0, Romero 0, Nieto 0. 

Iran 87 – Khosravi 28, Jafari 23, Amini 20, Beygi 6, Gilkalayeh 6, Kazemizadeh 0, Heydari 0, Zahan 0, Parand 0. 

Quarters: 20-18, 39-48, 68-63, 95-87.


Delfin Dioquino

Delfin Dioquino dreamt of being a PBA player, but he did not have the skills to make it. So he pursued the next best thing to being an athlete – to write about them. He took up journalism at the University of Santo Tomas and joined Rappler as soon as he graduated in 2017.