Late comeback not enough as Gilas Youth falls to Japan in FIBA Asia U16

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.

The Scores

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.

– Rappler.com 

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