BATANG Gilas ran straight into a brick wall on Friday, surrendering to Australia, 77-43, in the semifinals of the 2018 Fiba Under-18 Asian Championship at Stadium 29 in Nonthaburi, Thailand.
The Filipino teens couldn't stay in step with the Aussies after trailing by just two, 12-14, after the first 10 minutes as Kody Stattman ignited a 30-point second quarter explosion to give the Emus a 44-20 lead by halftime.
Australia used a 10-1 spurt to start the fourth quarter to erect its biggest lead at 41 points, 70-29, on the way to reaching the final against longtime rival New Zealand - an 87-82 winner over China in the other semifinal.
After a sorry end to its run of four straight wins, the Philippines now faces China in the battle for the bronze medal on Saturday.
In a game that for long stretches seemed to pit men against boys, the Aussies cut the Filipinos’ tall frontline down to size by winning the battle of the boards, 59-47, and holding the enemy to just 24-percent shooting.
Samson Froling topscored with 12 points, seven rebounds, and three blocks while frontcourt partner Stattman added 10 points and seven boards in the Aussies' fifth successive runaway win in the showpiece.
Callum Dalton also went for 10 points on a 2-of-5 shooting from threes while grabbing seven rebounds, as Kyle Bowen got eight points, eight rebounds, and two assists.
AJ Edu was the lone bright spot for the Philippines as he gallantly stood his ground against the Aussies with nine points, 10 rebounds, and three blocks, while Gerry Abadiano added eight points.
Batang Gilas starting guard Dalph Panopio was held to just four points on 1-of-10 shooting from the field and was a minus-35 when on the court. Kai Sotto only had two points and eight rebounds in 25 minutes of play.
AUSTRALIA 77 – Froling 12, Dalton 10, Stattman 10, Bowen 8, Gatbel 7, Lee 7, Robertson 7, Wigness 7, Leaupepe 6, Krause 3, Armstrong 0.
PHILIPPINES 43 – Edu 9, Abadiano 8, Cortez 6, Torres 6, Ildefonso 5, Panopio 4, Oczon 3, Sotto 2, Amsali 0, Chiu 0, Lina 0, Ramirez 0.
Quarters: 14-12, 44-20, 60-28, 77-43.