Gilas Youth fails to secure an outright quarterfinal berth in the FIBA U16 Asian Championship as it drops to 1-1 in Group C
MANILA, Philippines – Gilas Youth failed to secure an outright quarterfinal berth in the FIBA U16 Asian Championship as it bowed to Japan, 73-67, on Tuesday, June 14 at the Al-Gharafa Sports Club Multi-Purpose Hall in Doha, Qatar.
With the loss, Gilas Youth, which crushed Kuwait by 37 points in its first game, dropped to 1-1 in Group C and will collide with Kazakhstan in a do-or-die playoff match on Thursday, June 16 for a slot in the quarterfinals.
Filipino-American swingman Caelum Harris led the way for the Filipinos in the losing effort as he finished with 18 points, 6 rebounds, and 2 steals.
Jared Bahay added 12 points, 6 rebounds, 3 assists, and 3 steals for Gilas Youth, while Filipino-Canadian big man Zain Mahmood, who topscored for the Philippines in its first game, chipped in 10 markers and 5 boards.
After a back-and-forth affair in the first quarter, where the Philippines only trailed by 3 points, 14-17, the Japanese turned on the jets in the second period and outscored the Filipinos, 18-10, for a double-digit lead at halftime, 35-24.
Gilas Youth had no answers for Japan’s high-scoring forward Yuto Kawashima, who poured in 21 of his game-high 26 points in the first half alone.
With Japan still up by 12, 69-57, with only 3:29 left on the game clock, the Filipinos showed signs of life and unleashed a 10-2 run to pull within just 4, 71-67, with 33 seconds remaining.
Gilas Youth then had a chance to cut Japan’s lead to just a single point with 15 seconds left to play, but center Alex Konov failed to convert on his crucial three-point attempt, which ultimately sealed the victory for Japan.
Leon Watanabe backstopped Kawashima with 16 points and 9 rebounds, while Eijiro Ogawa contributed 14 points for Japan.
Konov, meanwhile, had 7 points on 1-of-7 shooting from deep for the Philippines, while guard Andy Gemao tallied 6 points and 6 rebounds.
Japan 73 – Kawashima 26, Watanabe 16, Ogawa 14, Ishiguchi 9, Rooney 2, Suzuki 2, Williams 2, Naito 0, Appeah 0, Kajitani 0, Sakihama 0.
Philippines 67 – Harris 18, Bahay 12, Mahmood 10, Konov 7, Gemao 6, Nieto 5, Competente 5, Bayla 4, Jones 0, Porter 0, Reyes 0, Romero 0.
Quarters: 17-14, 35-24, 49-38, 73-67.