After a stellar run in the FIBA U16 Asian Championship 2023, Gilas Pilipinas Youth lost to Australia in the semifinals, 92-36, Saturday evening in Doha.
Irus Chua and Cletz Amos led Gilas in scoring, combining for 12 points in the game. Noah Banal and Joaquin Ludovice teamed up to score nine points off the bench.
Australia, the fourth-ranked U16 team in the world, overwhelmed Gilas to open the game. They used their size to control the paint on both ends of the floor, making it difficult for the Philippines to get to their usual spots.
Gilas found more of a rhythm in the second half but the deficit was just too much for them to overcome.
The Philippines still has a chance to end the tournament with a medal. They can bounce back in the bronze medal game against China, the team that beat them in the group stage. The game tips off later today at 5:00 PM (10:00 PM Philippine time).
Gilas has already secured a spot in the FIBA U17 World Cup 2024 by making it to the semifinals of this tournament. The highest finish an U16 Philippine team has reached in the Asian Championship is second place back in 2013. They finished fourth three times in 2009, 2011, and 2017.