LESS than 24 hours after a heartbreaking loss to Chinese Taipei, the Gilas Pilipinas youth team got back to winning ways by beating a tall Jordan side, 73-60, to start its Group F campaign in the 2013 Fiba Asia Under-16 championships in Tehran, Iran on Saturday.
The Filipino youngsters regained their shooting from beyond the arc after firing blanks IN A 90-95 loss to Taipei on Friday, burying six three-pointers including four from Hope Christian School’s Jose Go IV who went on to topscore for the team with his 22 points.
Seaba Under-16 MVP Jolo Mendoza chipped in 14 points and seven steals to give the Smart Communications-backed Team Philippines 15 bonus points off turnovers on the way to its second win in three games in the 14-nation tournament.
“One thing for sure, we will give our 101 percent effort every game because we are playing for the country,” Mendoza told Spin.ph shortly after the win.
Mendoza, however, admitted the he and his teammates are pretty tired and banged up since they are not used to playing on a daily basis.
“Medyo bugbog nga po katawan namin. Parang nabigla kasi araw-araw. Pero sabi ko nga po, hangga’t may lalaro, lalaban po kami,” he added.
Mendoza’s dad Jigs, who is a member of the coaching staff, shared the same concern.
“That’s the only thing that concerns us… fatigue factor,” said the elder Mendoza. “These kids are not used to playing every day.”
“Medyo sore na mga katawan kasi maliliit tayo. Ang lalaki ng mga kalaban dito. But no regrets, our boys vowed to double their effort every game,” he added.
Dwarfed by the Jordanians who have an average height of around 6-4, the Pinoys surprisingly won the battle off both boards, 56-45, as Mike Nieto hauled down 20 rebounds to go with his 12 points.
Coach Jamike Jarin rued his team missed 58 of their 85 shots, something he believes it cannot afford to do in the next outing against Japan on Sunday (3:30 p.m., Manila time).
“Japan is a very strong and disciplined team,” Jarin, the longtime Ateneo Blue Eaglets coach, said. “We need to bring energy and our A game to be able to beat that team."
The Philippines currently totes a 2-1 win-loss slate, just trailing undefeated Japan and Chinese Taipei which are still playing as of posting time.