MANILA, Philippines (UPDATED) – 3-0.
Batang Gilas is back in shape as they conquered Thailand, 113-46, in the SEABA Under-16 tournament on Wednesday, May 17 at the Smart Araneta Coliseum.
The win gave Batang Gilas a flawless 3-0 record, and they are now just a win away from securing a slot in the FIBA Asia tourney.
Team Philippines leaned on Christian Calimag and Rafael Go's 20 points apiece while Mclaude Guadana poured all his 16 points, 6 dimes and 3 rebounds.
Angelo Cortez also shone bright with his double-double stint, 10 markers and 10 boards as well as big man Geo Chiu who contributed 10 points and 8 rebounds for the Batang Gilas.
Forthsky Padrigao erupted early in the first quarter with two treys and 3 steals to clinch a 9-0 rally. The Zamboanga-native Padrigao finished with 13 points, 8 steals and 8 assits for Team Pilipinas.
6-foot-11 center Kai Sotto also put on a show as he went for a slam with 6 minutes remaining in the second quarter to give Batang Gilas a 45-15 advantage.
Miguel Pascual closed the third quarter with a three-pointer to keep Batang Gilas ahead, 80-48.
Batang Gilas' also defense limited the Thai's to only making 14-out-43 two-point attempts while pushed them to commiting 32 turnovers in the entire game.
"We talked about defense in the dugout because we became lax in our previous game so to keep the intensity going, from the start we instructed our players to go fullcourt man-to-man instead of a formation (play)," said a satisfied coach Mike Oliver.
According to coach Oliver, Sotto's presence in the court paved way for the guards to work on their outside shooting. Since he wasn't a starter for the past two games, it is high-time to put the big man into work.
"We had several three-point shots because the attraction of defense is focused on him (Sotto) which is good for us," said Oliver.
True enough, Sotto's presence was felt as Calimag's overwhelming 20 points came from the rainbow territory when he connected 4-out-of-6 three point attempts.
Despite the big win, the game's best players Go and Calimag shared the team won't commit the same mistake they did during their match with Indonesia, "We still need to focus, we'll need to follow the system and be consistent. We need to be aggresisve."
Batang Gilas also displayed improvement in terms of turnovers as the Philippines only posted 17 errors compared to their last game which they committed a total of 27 turnovers.
On the other hand, Thannatorn Kamwised chipped in 9 points while Chatabodin Kinnaret had 8 markers for Thailand.
Batang Gilas will face Malaysia for their final game in the tournament on on Thursday, May 18. – Rappler.com