BATANG Gilas wound up on top in a see-saw battle, toppling erstwhile unbeaten China, 78-72, on Tuesday in the Fiba Asia Under-16 Championship at the Arena Britana in Jakarta, Indonesia
The young Filipinos accomplished what their elder counterparts couldn’t pull off, turning back the much taller Chinese squad in the continental competition and China's first loss ever in the Under-16 tourney in 31 games dating back to 2009.
Batang Gilas moves to 4-1, the same record as China after the win that comes exactly one month after Gilas Pilipinas lost to host China, 67-78, in the Fiba Asia final in Changsha.
Kris Harvey Pagsanjan and Jason Mari Lorenzo hit back-to-back triples to put the Philippinnes ahead 73-72 and Jonas Tibayan extended the lead with a jumper to help Batang Gilas hold on for the win.
It was a huge win for the Philippines, which suffered a loss to Korea on Monday, their first defeat in the tournament.
Gian Mamuyac again led the Philippines in scoring, the flashy 5-foot-11 guard coming up with 22 points against a Chinese squad with average height of 6-6.
Skipper Samjosef Belangel scored 11, while Pagsanjan and Credo finished with 10 points apiece.
The Philippines led 39-33 at the half but China just wouldn't go away. Five straight points by Haotian Bai, including a triple with 1:55 left put China ahead 72-67, but that proved to be their last basket.
Batang Gilas 78 – Mamuyac 22, Belangel 11, Pagsanjan 10, Credo 10, De Liano 9, Tibayan 7, Gozum 4, Publico 3, Ildefonso 2, Flores 0, Escalona 0.
China 72 – Bai 21, Zhu 16, R. Wang 13, Zhao 9, Wu 9, Y. Wang 2, Xu 2, Huang 0, J. Wang 0, Han 0, Li 0.