Batang Gilas made quick work of Lebanon, 75-53, to notch its first win of the FIBA Under-18 Asian Championship at Nonthaburi, Thailand on Sunday.
National University Bulldogs rookie Dave Ildefonso tallied 19 points to lead all scorers, while Fil-Nigerian AJ Edu was equally dominant with 17 points, 12 rebounds and five blocks in his first international five-on-five match.
Dalph Panopio also impressed in his debut game for the flag and ended up with 12 points, six assists, four rebounds and three steals.
The Philippines led by 41-33 at halftime before uncorking a strong third quarter, 18-8. They even led by as much as 24 after a made three from FEU’s Joshua Ramirez pushed the lead to 71-57 in the fourth period.
NUMBERS AND GAME NOTES
– Batang Gilas used their height advantage to win the battle on the glass by 21 as they grabbed 61 compared to Lebanon’s 36. They had 41 defensive boards.
– Aside from Edu, Kai Sotto and Raven Cortez — two of the most efficient offensive players in the FIBA Under-17 World Cup — made large contributions on the boards. Cortez had nine rebounds in just 18 minutes, while Sotto had eight rebounds to go along with his 12 points.
– We now know why the Italian youth national team was interested in recruiting Panopio. He was a game-high plus-26 in just 23 minutes and although he did have four turnovers, he looked very comfortable running the offense. He also knocked down 2-of-5 five attempts from downtown.
– Ildefonso scored all 19 of his points in the first half. He finished with a 7-of-17 shooting clip and hit four of his nine tries from three-point range.
– The Philippines will have to take care of the rock more often. They committed 27 turnovers, leading to 19 points by Lebanon on their miscues.