Gilas Pilipinas Youth continued their stellar run in the FIBA U16 Asian Championship SEABA Qualifiers 2023 after winning their second straight game, blowing out Thailand, 85-49, Tuesday evening in Indonesia.
Kiefer Alas led the way with 18 points, eight rebounds, five assists and three steals. He did all of that in less than 20 minutes of playing time. Kurt Velasquez added 12 points on 66 percent shooting while Joaquin Ludovice chipped in 10 points in the win.
The Philippine team’s defense was on point against Thailand. Gilas forced 35 turnovers, had 22 steals, and scored 39 points off their opponent’s errors. Thailand didn’t score more than 13 points in any of the four quarters.
Thailand led by 3-2 early in the game but a 7-0 run led by Alas pushed Gilas ahead. Thailand threatened again in the middle of the second quarter, cutting the Gilas lead down to just three. That was when the Philippines went on a game-breaking run.
Alas, Velasquez, and Ludovice teamed up to go on a 14-2 run that gave Gilas a 15-point lead heading into the half. They wouldn’t look back after that, leading by as much as 36 points in the second half to cruise all the way to the final buzzer.
If Gilas Youth finish as one of the top two teams at the end of the single round-robin tournament, they will qualify for the FIBA U16 Asian Championship in Qatar in September.
The Philippines will face the home team, Indonesia, for their final assignment of the tournament on Wednesday, 8:00 PM Philippine time.