THE Philippines ended its campaign on a high note with a 115-51 decision over host United Arab Emirates on Saturday to finish in 15th place in the Fiba Under-17 World Championship in Dubai.
Paul Desiderio had 25 points to lead Batang Gilas to their first victory after a run of five losses as they avoided finishing dead last in the 16-team showpiece.
Michael Dela Cruz and Mike Nieto chipped in 15 points while Diego Dario and Arnie Padilla finished with 13 and 12 points for Batang Gilas, who led by as many as 70 points after outscoring UAE, 40-7, in the third period.
The win finally put a smile on the faces of the young Filipinos who gained a spot in the worlds with an unlikely silver-medal finish in the Fiba-Asia Under-16 Championship last year.
Philippines (115) – Desiderio 25, Dela Cruz 15, Mi. Nieto 15, Dario 13, Padilla 12, Navarro 8, Ma. Nieto 7, Escoto 6, Go 5, Panlilio 5, Abadeza 4, Mendoza 0.
UAE (51) – Suwais 12, Mohammad 11, Juma 9, Alabdulla 9, Alzarooni 5, Almaazi 4, Al-Ali 1, Saad 0, Alfrasi 0, Alnuamani 0, Alyammahi 0.
Quarterscores: 26-15, 49-36, 89-43, 115-51.