Gilas Pilipinas Youth are through to the next stage of the FIBA U16 Asian Championship 2023. They ended the group stage with a resounding 75-52 win over Malaysia, Tuesday night in Qatar.
Kieffer Alas continued his sellar showing while playing for the country. He finished the game with 15 points and 13 rebounds. Kurt Velasquez also played well, notching 13 points and seven rebounds. Elijah Williams flirted with a double-double, scoring nine points and grabbing nine rebounds.
The Philippines opened the game with intensity on both sides of the floor. They limited Malaysia to just eight points in the first quarter while they were able to erupt for 29 points during that same span.
After opening the game with the first basket, Malaysia was held scoreless for the next four minutes of the first. Williams teamed up with Alas and Noah Banal to push Gilas ahead. After Malaysia broke their dry spell, Gilas overwhelmed its opponent with a torrent of baskets to put the game away. The Philippines went on a 22-3 run to take a 23-point lead.
Gilas was able to keep Malaysia at bay from that point on to cruise to the easy win.
The national team finished Group D as the second seed with a 2-1 record. They now move onto the knockout stage to determine which teams will advance to the quarterfinals to face the top seeds of each of the four groups. Their next opponent is Korea, who finished Group C in the third spot.
Gilas needs to reach the semis of this tournament to earn a spot in the FIBA U17 Basketball World Cup 2024.