The Philippines earned a spot in the 2016 FIBA Asia Challenge after the Gilas cadets clinched the gold medal in the 5th Southeast Asian Basketball Association (SEABA) Stankovic Cup held in Bangkok, Thailand.
The Gilas cadets outclassed Thailand, 97-80, to claim the gold medal and the FIBA Asia seat.
Team captain Troy Rosario led the cadets with 17 points, including eight points all scored in the third, while adding seven rebounds and three assists in their fifth consecutive win in the tournament.
Arellano University standout Jiovani Jalalon added 16 points, seven rebounds and three assists while Mac Belo contributed 14 markers, Mike Tolomia had 12 markers, Almond Vosotros chipped in 11 and Roger Pogoy delivered 10.
The Philippines started their tour of duty in the regional basketball championship with a dominant 108-84 win over Malaysia before beating the Singaporeans, 81-59, in their second outing.
The team also notched a win over Indonesia, 83-52, before competing their sweep of the elimination round with a narrow win over Thailand, 66-65.
JAELLE NEVIN REYES