Gilas Youth rule SEABA, qualify for U16 Asian Championship
Published on July 19, 2023

Gilas Pilipinas Youth swept the competition at the FIBA U16 Asian Championship SEABA Qualifiers 2023 after a hard-fought win over Indonesia, 77-65, Wednesday night in Surabaya.

Kieffer Alas led all scorers with 19 points. He also finished the game with 12 rebounds, five assists, two steals, and two blocks in an all-around performance. Kurt Velasquez backed him up with 14 points on 54 percent shooting. Cletz Amos also chipped in with 14 points built on four triples.

The home team started out on fire, taking a five-point lead over Gilas after the first period. The Philippines eventually found their footing in the second quarter. 

After Indonesia extended their lead to seven to open the second, Gilas went on a 12-0 run, capped off by eight straight points from Alas to reclaim the advantage. Velasquez then kickstarted a 10-0 blast with back-to-back hits to give his team their first double-digit lead of the game at 11 points near the end of the first half.

The Indonesians tried to get back in the game in the second half but Gilas had managed to keep them at bay with big runs.

Midway through the third period, Indonesia was able to cut the lead down to just four points. Alas quickly answered with five straight points to keep Gilas ahead. Indonesia opened the fourth with an and-one bucket to get to within 11. Velasquez responded by scoring seven points in a 9-0 Gilas run that gave them a 20-point lead midway through the final period. That was enough of a cushion to comfortably pull out the win.

Gilas finished as the top team of the entire tournament with a 3-0 slate. By winning the tournament, they earned a spot in the FIBA U16 Asian Championship happening in Qatar this September.