By Michael Angelo S. Murillo
Senior Reporter
THE strong start of the Philippine national youth team at the FIBA U18 Asian Championship continued on Monday night as it routed the United Arab Emirates, 92-49, to book its second win in as many games in Group B.
Fresh from an impressive 75-53 victory over Lebanon in its tournament opener on Sunday, Batang Gilas showed no letup against UAE as it led from wire-to-wire, displaying balanced scoring and steady defense en route to the big win at the Bangkok Thai-Japan Youth Center in Thailand.
The Philippines opened the proceedings with a 10-0 blast in the first two minutes of the opening quarter with Kai Sotto, AJ Edu, Joshua Ramirez and Miguel Oczon anchoring.
It was a fast start that set the tone for Batang Gilas as it went on to build a 15-point cushion, 29-14, at the end of the opening 10 minutes of the match.
In the second quarter, UAE would compete on a better footing but unfortunately for the team the Philippines stood its ground as it keep it at bay throughout to hold a 50-31 advantage at the halftime break.
The Batang Gilas juggernaut extended into the third period as it capitalized on its size advantage to pound on the UAE players no end.
Its lead stood at 28 points, 69-41, with seven seconds remaining before a three-pointer by UAE as the quarter expired trimmed the lead to 25 points, 69-44, heading into the final 10 minutes of the contest.
While the match was pretty much under its control, Batang Gilas continued to put pressure on UAE in the fourth period, keeping the latter scoreless in the first seven minutes to extend their lead to 41 points, 85-44.
UAE would only score five points after, handing the 43-point victory to the Philippines, 92-49.
Edu paced Batang Gilas with 16 points and eight rebounds while Sotto had 14 points and eight boards.
Rhayyan Amsali finished with 13 points with Xyrus Torres adding 12.
Raven Cortez only had six points but a team-high 13 rebounds.
Mohamed Alhashmi paced UAE with 18 points.
The Philippines will play China (2-0) today for group leadership and direct passage to the quarterfinals.