ULAANBAATAR, Mongolia – The Energen-Philippine Youth team promptly got back on track in the Fiba-Asia U18 Championship when it routed regional rival Indonesia, 88-62, on Monday.
Jerie Pingoy led the Nationals with 16 points, while Rey Nambatac fell a rebound short of a double-double with 11 points.
But it was Mario Bonleon who keyed the early breakaway of the team when he scored seven of his 15 points in the first quarter as the Nationals took control for good, 23-18.
The victory was the third in four outings for the Filipinos and a good way to start their second-round campaign in Group F after ending the preliminaries Sunday with a 73-92 loss to Iran in Group D.
“It was important for us to keep the boys focused especially after last night’s (Sunday) defeat,” said coach Olsen Racela.
The Nationals will take on Chinese-Taipei next in an all-important game that could decide their placing in the quarterfinals.
“Hopefully the way we have recovered will help us tomorrow,” Racela said of their encounter with the Taiwanese.
“I think the result of that game (against Taipei) will virtually decide the No. 2 team in our group. We are surely targeting that spot so that we can get a good draw in the quarterfinals,” he added.
Indonesia meanwhile, will now have to win one of its two remaining assignments against Iran and Saudi Arabia to advance into the quarterfinals.
Philippines (88) – Pingoy 16, Bonleon 15, Nambatac 11, Porter 8, Rivero 8, Alejandro 7, Cani 7, Babilonia 5, Lao 4, Suarez 4, Olayon 3, Javelosa 0.
Indonesia (62) – Panagan 12, Adriano 11, Kosasih 9, Pangesthio 9, Lapian 6, Baskoro 5, Halim 4, Tuasela 4, Sitorus 2, Kokodiputra 0, Istiadi 0, Steven 0.
Quarterscores: 23-18; 45-30; 67-48; 88-62.