Australia pounds Batang Gilas, 82-52, claims Group B top spot

The Australian Under-16 National Team overwhelmed their Philippine counterparts with their size and efficiency that ending with an 82-52 win at the Foshan Lingnan Gymnasium in China.

The Australians took their second win that saw them top Group B of the FIBA Under-16 Asian Championships. Yesterday, they blew Malaysia off the court, 110-47.

The Philippines fell to 1-1 but will advance to the next round of the competition.

The Filipinos gamely battled the Crocs, as Australia’s junior national squad is known by, early in the first quarter. Batang Gilas even led, 11-8, after two free throws by center Kai Sotto. The Crocs responded with a 10-2 run to close out the first period as their 6’7” center Kobe Williamson supplied the energy on the defensive end.

Williamson, who plays for the Sabres’ Junior squad in the Southern Basketball Association of Australia assisted teammate Luke Jackson in the Crocs’ opening play of the second period then hit two free throws for himself. He ran back on defense, stole the ball. He outplayed the Philippines’ Sotto by tallying 14 points, 5 rebounds, 2 steals, 2 blocks, and 1 assist to backstop the 15-point outing of point guard Jay Rantall.

In contrast, Sotto, finished with 9 points, 4 rebounds, 1 assist, and 1 steal.

Despite standing equally at an average of 6’4”, the Australians ruled the boards with a 51-33 advantage. That allowed them to get out on the fastbreak where they punished the Filipinos, 27-3, while adding 7 second chance points to Batang Gilas’ mere three. They also pounded the ball inside to the tune of 30 points whereas the Mike Oliver mentored team managed only 12.

Mac Guadaña paced Batang Gilas with 11 points while RC Calimag added 10 of his own.

The win sent Australia directly to the knock-out quarterfinals round while the Philippines (1-1) and Malaysia (0-2) will have to go through the play-offs round which is also a sudden death match. The winner advances to the quarterfinals while the losing squad has to play in the classification round.

The Philippines’ opponent tomorrowThursday, will be determined by day’s end pending the results of other matches.