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Batang Gilas drubs Korea by 24 to reach Fiba Asia U16 quarterfinal

September 22 ------ BATANG Gilas' 95-71 rout of Korea at the 2023 Fiba Asia U16 Cup in Doha, Qatar brought the Philippines one step closer to another World Cup appearance. The result marks the exorcisation of yet another 'Korean Curse' for Gilas as the U16's posted the country's first-ever Fiba tournament win against any Korean youth team in either U16 (four prior losses) or U18 (five losses).

UST standout Joaquin Ludovice led five Gilas young guns in double figures with 25 points on top of Kurt Velasquez' 17-piece, Bonn Daja's 13 points and 10 boards, and Kieffer Alas' 11 points and 13 boards. More importantly, the victory gives Gilas U16 the last spot in the knockout quarterfinals against Japan on Friday wherein a win will send the young Filipino cagers to the 2024 Fiba U17 Basketball World Cup in Turkey.

As per Fiba's qualification format, this year's Fiba Asia U16 semifinalists (top four teams) will claim the last four spots for Asian teams in the 16-team field. Gilas U16 had Korea's number from the opening tip, capped by a 32-point team production in the second quarter alone. Contrary to their fairly matched senior counterparts, the gap between both U16 squads was night and day as Batang Gilas even led by as much as 30 in the home stretch.

History awaits Gilas U16 in less than a day's time as it looks to make its third U17 World Cup appearance since a top 15 debut run in 2014 and a 13th place finish in 2018.

The scores:

Philippines (95) - Ludovice 25, Velasquez 17, Daja 13, Alas 11, Amos 10, Morales 9, Alegre 4, Diao 4, Williams 2, Banal 0, Chua 0, Gomez De Liano 0.

Korea (71) - Edi 18, Yang 11, So 10, Eom 9, Yoon 6, Mg. Kim 4, Mj. Kim 4, T. Kim 3, Jung 3, Song 2, H. Kim 1, Heo 0.

Quarterscores: 28-18; 60-38; 80-54; 95-71.



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