The Philippine under-16 national basketball team lost to their Japanese opponent, 73-66, halting their bid to rule this year’s FIBA Asia U16 Championship at the BritAma Arena in Jakarta, Indonesia on Thursday.
Batang Gilas posted just nine points in the first canto because of Japan’s superior defense. The Japanese established a 9-23 lead before the start of the second period.
The Filipinos scored before halftime with 21 points but still trailed behind their foes, 30-46.
Batang Gilas, whose offensive continued to weaken in the third quarter relied on a late 14-2 run in the final moments of regulation to cut down the deficit to just seven points before the final buzzer of the match.
Samjosef Belangel led the Filipinos with 20 points off seven-out-of-15 shooting plus six rebounds and five steals while Jason Credo added 11 markers.
The frontcourt duo of Kris Pagsanjan and Will Gozum notched a combined 15 points and nine rebounds.
Sean Ildefonso and Jonas Tibayan each chipped in eight points while Gian Mamuyac and Juan Gomez de Liano posted two points each.
The Philippines will face Thailand in the consolation round of the tournament later today at the BritAma Arena.
The defeat also marked Batang Gilas’ not entering in the semifinals since the conception of the Asian youth level basketball championship in 2009.
The Philippines marked their first two games in the first round of the group stage with wins against Bahrain, 98-58, and Thailand, 70-51, to land on the top spot of Group C.
In the second round, Batang Gilas clipped Iraq, 78-69, before losing to South Korea, 77-74. The Philippines bounced back in their last game in the elimination round by ending the 30-game winning streak of three-time champion China, 78-72.