Batang Gilas salvage 5th place with OT win over Japan behind Kobe Paras, Ranbill Tongco heroics
Kobe Paras finally had his breakout game for Batang Gilas with 27 points and 10 rebounds in the overtime win over Japan for fifth place in the FIBA-Asia Under-18 Championship in Doha, Qatar. Photo from the Varsity Times/LA Times

KOBE Paras and Ranbill Tongco led a host of heroes who shone for the Philippine youth team as it pulled off a 113-105 win in overtime against Japan to salvage fifth place in the FIBA-Asia Under-18 Championship in Doha, Qatar.

Paras finally had a breakout game for Batang Gilas as he finished with 27 points and 10 rebounds, but it was Tongco who hit the biggest shot of the game as he nailed a pressure-packed three-pointer that send the game into overtime and capped the young Filipinos’ rally from 10 points down in the fourth period.

Jollo Go then scored nine of his 24 points in the extra period to help the Philippines take an 11-point lead in the extra session and complete the mighty comeback.

The Philippines won it after storming back from a 75-65 deficit in the fourth. The Batang Gilas was still down, 93-88, with 14 seconds left in the game.

Paras scored a quick basket on the ensuing possession, before getting a big break when Akito Uchida missed two free throws that would have clinched the victory for Japan.

Instead, Paras grabbed the rebound that paved the way for Tongco’s game-tying triple, 93-93.

Mark Dyke had 18 points while Paul Desiderio chipped in 17. Tongco finished with 14 for Batang Gilas.

The Japanese took control of the game after a 14-7 start in the third quarter that turned a 49-46 lead into a 63-53 edge midway in the period.

Japan lost despite a 36 and 34-point effort from Uchida and Tsuyama.


The scores:

Philippines (113) --Paras 27, Go 24, Dyke 18, Desiderio 17, Tongco 14, Santillan 6, Yu 3, Escoto 2, Black 1, Mosqueda 1, Caracut 0, Bienes 0.

Japan (105) -- Uchida 36, Tsuyama 34, Aoki 12, Sumino 8, Mikami 8, Watanabe 3, Tomita 2, Ide 2, Motomura 0, Fukuoka 0.

Quarterscores: 24-25; 46-49; 65-73; 93-93 (reg); 113-105.

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