The Batang Gilas has booked a slot in the semi-finals of the 2018 FIBA Under-16 Asian Championships after beating Japan, 72-70.
Kai Sotto contributed 28 points and 21 rebounds in order lead the boys’ squad of the Philippine National basketball team a step closer to winning the tournament in Foshan, China.
During the end of the first half, Japan was leading by two points, 32-34, but a 12-point run in the start of the third quarter allowed the Philippine team to recover and grab the lead, 44-36.
With less than four minutes left in the game, Gilas was able to grab a 10-point advantage, 69-59, though they failed to maintain it and allowed the young Japanese squad to tie the score, 70-70, in the last 30 seconds.
The victory of the national team was secured thru a tie-breaking lay-up by Recaredo Christian Calimag, and a failed jump shot of Japanese guard Chikara Tanaka, who finished with 17 points, prevented the game from reaching overtime.
This victory also enabled Batang Gilas to be included in the Top 4 of the 2018 FIBA U-16 Asian Championships and to qualify in the 2018 FIBA Under-17 World Cup that will start on June 30 in Argentina.
Other than the Philippines, Australia, New Zealand, and China will also represent Asia in the upcoming basketball competition.
Meanwhile, Batang Gilas is preparing as they face China in the next game, with the victor moving on to the finals of the 2018 FIBA U-16 Asian Championships.