MANILA, Philippines – Gilas Youth banked on a balanced scoring attack to open its FIBA U16 Asian Championship stint with an 82-45 thumping of Kuwait in Doha, Qatar on Monday, June 13 (Tuesday, June 14, Manila time).
Jared Bahay set the tone in a sterling 25-9 opening-quarter assault before Zain Mahmood and the rest of the squad followed suit as the Philippines tied Japan at the top of Group C with a 1-0 card.
Bahay churned out 7 of his 12 points in the first period and also finished with 8 rebounds, 6 assists, and 3 steals in an all-around performance that helped catapult Gilas Youth to the 37-point rout.
Filipino-Canadian big man Mahmood chalked up a game-high 16 points on top of 5 rebounds and 2 steals as the Philippines put the clamps on Kuwait with a total of 17 steals and forced their foes to commit 29 turnovers.
Kuwait bled for its points throughout, making just 15 of 50 field goal attempts and seeing only two of its players breach double figures.
On the other hand, four players scored in double figures for Gilas Youth, with Jacob Bayla and Kristian Porter finishing with 10 points apiece.
In a strange shooting performance, Porter – the younger brother of PBA player Kris Porter – missed all of his four free throws but shot a perfect 4-of-4 from the field, including a 2-of-2 clip from three-point land.
Renzo Competente added 9 points for the Filipinos, who can secure an outright quarterfinal berth with a win over the Japanese in their Tuesday clash.
Only the No. 1 teams from each of the four groups will advance directly to the quarterfinals, while the next two best squads will fight for their tournament lives in the playoffs.
Filipino-American forward Caelum Harris – perhaps the most familiar name in this edition of Gilas Youth – contributed 2 points, 5 rebounds, 3 assists, 3 steals, and 1 block.
Adel Alsaeid put up 16 points, 9 rebounds, and 2 steals, while Tariq Alrashaid had 10 points and 6 rebounds to pace Kuwait, which ended the group stage with a 0-2 record.
Japan earlier gave Kuwait a 98-33 beating.
Philippines 82 – Mahmoud 16, Bahay 12, Bayla 10, Porter 10, Competente 9, Konov 7, Gemao 5, Nieto 4, Jones 4, Harris 2, Reyes 2, Romero 1.
Kuwait 45 – Alsaied 12, Alrashaid 10, Alresheedan 8, Asadallah 7, Malallah 6, T. Mohammad 2, Alenizi 0, B. Mohammad 0, Edhbayah 0, Alhusaini 0.
Quarters: 25-9, 43-24, 64-33, 82-45.