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    Japan ends Batang Gilas’ title hopes with wire-to-wire win in Fiba Asia Under-16 quarterfinals

    Nov 5, 2015
    The best finish Batang Gilas could take now is fifth. Photo from Fiba.com

    BATANG GILAS fell into a deep hole early and failed to pull itself out, bowing to a hot-shooting Japan, 73-66, on Thursday in the quarterfinals of the Fiba Asia Under-16 Championship in at the Arena Britama in Jakarta, Indonesia.

    Thrust into the limelight with a stunning win over China in the second round, the Batang Gilas couldn’t live up to expectations, starting flat as the Japanese rained treys on them for an early 15-0 lead on the way to a 23-9 advantage after 10 minutes of play.

    Batang Gilas bowed out of the race for a berth in the 2016 Fiba Under 17 World Championship in Spain. The team falls way short of the 2013 squad’s second place finish that earned it a stint in the 2014 worlds.

    The Philippines side of the scoreboard stayed blank until the 5:02 mark, when Samjosef Belangel split his charities off a Keisuke Mimori foul. By then Japan was 15 points clear.

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    The Filipinos somehow found their range in the second, but the Japanese still made their shots and outscored Batang Gilas 23-21 for a 46-30 halftime count.

    The Philippines was relegated to the classification round, where it would try and salvage fifth place starting with a match against Thailand, which was beaten in the quarterfinals by Chinese Taipei, 88-39.

    Japan and Chinese Taipei face off in the semifinals. Korea also earlier advanced with a 105-79 victory over Lebanon and await the winner of the quarterfinal match between China and Kuwait.

    The Japanese led by as many as 23 points before the Philippines trimmed it to seven in the fourth, but the rally came a little too late.

    Belangel wound up with 20 points and Jason Credo had 11 but no other Filipino registered twin-digit marks. Gian Mamuyac, Batang Gilas’ top scorer entering the game with 15.2, came up with just two points, making just one of 12 shots.

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    The scores:

    Japan 73 – Nishida 20, Kagitomi 16, Takahara 12, Ito 6, Hachimura 5, Miyamoto 4, Mimori 4, Nakata 3, Tsuchiya 2, Tsuneta 1.

    Philippines 66 – Belangel 20, Credo 11, Pagsanjan 9, Tibayan 8, Ildefonso 8, Gozum 6, De Liano 2, Mamuyac 2, Flores 0, Lagumen 0, Publico 0.

    Quarterscores: 23-9; 46-30; 63-45; 73-66.

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    The best finish Batang Gilas could take now is fifth. Photo from Fiba.com
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