Gilas Pilipinas Youth bounced back after their opening day loss in the FIBA U16 Asian Championship 2023 campaign with a strong 66-42 win over Kazakhstan, on Monday evening in Qatar.
Kieffer Alas once again came up big for Gilas, finishing the game with an 18-10 double-double. Bonn Daja backed him up by scoring 10 points and hauling down eight rebounds. Joaquin Ludovice chipped in 11 points from off the bench.
The Philippines encountered some difficulties offensively to start the game. They were down by five points, 30-25, after the first two quarters of play. Because of their slow start on offense, Gilas increased its defensive intensity in the second half.
They shut down Kazakhstan in the third quarter, limiting them to only three points during that span. Their swarming defense led to several misses and turnovers, resulting in easier looks on the other end of the floor.
Gilas opened the second half with an 11-1 run with Alas, Daja, and Noah Banal all hitting big shots. They never looked back after building a double-digit lead in the game. They continued to play tough defense in the fourth, limiting Kazakhstan to just nine points in the period to close out the game strong.
Gilas is now tied for second place in Group D with a 1-1 record. They face Malaysia next in the final group stage game. They are aiming to become one of the top three teams in the group so that they can advance to the qualification games for the quarterfinals.
This tournament is the qualifier for the FIBA U17 Basketball World Cup 2024.