Three-time defending champion Batang Gilas displayed superiority throughout the game en route to a resounding 113-46 triumph over Thailand for a 3-0 record in the 4th Southeast Asia Basketball Association (SEABA) Under-16 Championship on Wednesday at the Araneta Coliseum.
The Filipinos, riding on the impressive showing of RC Calimag and Rafael Go, relied on another fast start and their superior talents in crushing the Thais to tie the Malaysians that are also carrying an identical 3-0 win-loss record on top of the team standings.
Batang Gilas and Malaysia are scheduled to play for the gold today in the last day of the tournament. The third win also assured the young Filipinos of one of the three slots in the 2017 FIBA U-16 Asian Championship together with the Malaysians.
Their second half performance was far different than their last game against Indonesia, whom they beat, 96-73, last Monday although they were outscored in the third (19-23) and fourth (19-22) canto.
Leading 63-25 at halftime, Batang Gilas erected an 85-40 lead at the end of third quarter before dropping a 28-6 bomb on Thailand in the payoff period to complete the rout.
“I’m happy because we talked about defense in the dugout. In our last game, we relaxed after the first half. So to keep the intensity going, we instructed the players to go full court man to man,” said Batang Gilas coach Mike Oliver during the postgame interview.
“Our defense was great today especially RC (Calimag) on the American-Thai (Aaron Wadman).”
Calimag finished with 20 points on 7-of-10 shooting from the field, while Go had 20 points and 12 rebounds to lead Batang Gilas, who also drew 13 points, eight assists and eight steals from Rence Keith Padrigao.
Other Batang Gilas players who scored in double figures were Mclaude Guadana (16), Shaun Chiu (10) and Raven Angelo Cortez (10). The Filipinos had more rebounds (68-38), assists (27-9), steals (17-5), blocks (6-2) and three-point shots (11-4) than the Thais.
Thannatorn Kamwised led the Thais with nine points.
The Thais still have a chance to secure the last ticket in the 2017 FIBA U-16 Asian Championship if they win over Singapore today. Thailand’s win-loss record, with the loss, dropped to 1-2. Indonesia is 1-3 while Singapore is winless in three games.