IT was indeed, a morale-boosting win against fancied China, but then again it’s just one game in the Fiba Asia U16 Championship for the Philippine Youth team.
Officials of the Batang Gilas were quick to remind the boys the tournament is far from over and the 78-72 win over the erstwhile unbeaten Chinese only assured them of the no. 2 spot in Group F going to the knockout stage of the meet.
“Though the win was a joyful one, it all ended as soon as we entered the hotel from the gym,” said team manager Andrew Teh all the way from Jakarta, Indonesia. “We reminded the boys that we haven’t achieve yet from the win. Gumanda lang ang standings natin.”
The win, which came exactly a month after Gilas Pilipinas lost to China in the title match of the Fiba Asia championship, allowed Batang Gilas to finish number two in Group F. The Philippines, China and Korea ended up tied with similar 4-1 records, but the Chinese clinch top seeding behind a better quotient, with the Koreans tabbing the number three-seed.
So far the only loss suffered by the Batang Gilas came at the expense of South Korea, 77-74, last Monday.
But they were quick to shrug off the effects of the loss by coming through with a big win over the previously unbeaten Chinese, their first in the U16 tourney after 31 games dating from 2009.
But then again, Teh said the title remains up for grabs.
“Hindi pa tapos ang tournament,” said the Batang Gilas team manager.