WORLD No. 4 Serbia was just too much for Gilas Pilipinas Youth, running away with a 87-60 win at the start of the knockout stages of the 2019 Fiba Under-19 World Cup at Heraklion Indoor Sports Arena early Thursday morning (Manila time).
Gonzaga-bound center Filip Petrusev punished the Filipinos with 11 points in a telling 17-1 second-quarter run that turned a tight 22-18 affair into a healthy 39-19 advantage for the Serbs.
Petrusev finished with 17 points, eight rebounds, and three steals, while teaming up with fellow NBA prospect Marko Pecarski, who had 21 points and six boards in the win.
The Philippines mounted a comeback in the third frame, cutting the deficit down to 12, 48-36, courtesy of a Kai Sotto split from the line.
But Dalibor Ilic doused the uprising as he strung six straight points as Serbia went on to enjoy a 29-point lead, 83-54, following a layup from Zoran Paunovic with 3:23 remaining.
With the win, Serbia progressed to the quarterfinals where it will face Lithuania, which blasted Australia, 91-74.
Dave Ildefonso carried Gilas Youth with 18 points, three rebounds, and two assists.
Sotto got 13 points and eight boards, while Gerry Abadiano had 12 points, two rebounds, and two assists.
Gilas Youth will now head to the classification phase, where it will take on Australia on Friday at 9:30 p.m.
The last time the two nations met was back in the 2018 Fiba Under-18 Asian Championship semifinals, where the Aussies dealt the Filipinos a 77-43 defeat in Thailand.
SERBIA 87 - Pecarski 21, Petrusev 17, Ilic 13, Trifunovic 9, Vasiljevic 8, Paunovic 8, Cubic 4, Micovic 3, Kuzmanovic 2, Grbovic 2, Cerovina 0, Islamovic 0.
PHILIPPINES 60 - Ildefonso 18, Sotto 13, Abadiano 12, Tamayo 7, Chiu 5, Fortea 3, Panopio 2, Oczon 0, Amsali 0, Spencer 0, Torres 0.
Quarters: 19-14, 43-28, 64-42, 87-60.