Batang Gilas shows Brunei mercy despite 81-point blowout

MANILA, Philippines - After the first period at Xavier University Gym in Cagayan De Oro, the Philippine team led Brunei 42-3, with only a late three-pointer sparing the Brunei team from an opening quarter shutout in their Southeast Asia Basketball Association (SEABA) Under-16 tournament match. 

The small nation, which just recently began forming their basketball program, expected this sort of fate, as their Filipino coach, former Emilio Aguinaldo College mentor Nomar Isla, asked for mercy in the eventuality of a mismatch. 

With the game already decided a fourth of the way towards completion, Batang Gilas did their best to spare their neophyte opponents the unnecessary humiliation they suffered in 152 and 93 point defeats in their opening games. 

Batang Gilas won the game by an 81-point margin, 112-31, on Saturday, April 18. Romulo Victor Berjay led 7 Filipinos in double figures with 17 points to go with 14 rebounds, while Rhayyan Amsali added 16 and 6. 

But the Philippine team only put up 27, 20 and 23 points respectively in the ensuing quarters in an effort to avoid an unnecessary burial. 

The Philippines had already qualified for the FIBA Asia U-16 tournament, which will be held in Bangalore, India from July 2-12, with their 57-point drubbing of Thailand on Friday. The top three teams from the SEABA championship will be entered into the tournament, which serves as a qualifier for the 2016 FIBA U-17 World Cup.

Tristan Jared Lai Yung Chee was the only Brunei player who managed to score in double figures, adding 13 points on 6-14 shooting. Chee’s three pointer in the first quarter was the only one scored by Brunei in 17 tries, while the Philippines shot 12-38 from 3-point range.

The Philippines shot 51.1% from the field compared to just 23.1% from Brunei. The Philippines also managed to outrebound Brunei 70-24 and swiped 10 steals to Brunei’s 3. 

The Philippines can make a clean sweep of the SEABA U-16 tournament tomorrow afternoon when they play Indonesia at 4 p.m. Indonesia has a 2-1 record in the tournament after defeating Thailand 71-53 on Saturday afternoon.

Indonesia's lone defeat came at the hands of Malaysia, whom the Philippines defeated by 37. -