Batang Gilas falls into FIBA U17 Group of Death

It looks like the lack of a podium finish during the just-concluded FIBA Asia Under-16 World Cup has put the Philippines in a tough bind come the FIBA Under-17 Basketball World Cup.

The Philippines Under-17 National Team is bracketed with European powerhouses France and Croatia along with South American power Argentina in the Group of Death for the upcoming FIBA Under-17
Basketball World Cup that will be held from June 30 to July 8 in Rosario and Sante Fe, Argentina.

France won the Under-16 European Championships last August 11-19 blitzing the opposition with a 7-0 record.

Les Bleus defeated all comers in group competition taking down Italy, Russia, and Estonia. In the Round of 16, they escpaed the upset axe from Sweden, 73-68. They outlasted Turkey, 80-76, in the quarterfinals; blitzed Croatia, 83-60 in the semi-finals then defeated surprised finalist, Montenegro, 75-68, in the finals.

Croatia finished fourth in the final standings.

Argentina is in as the host team.

Two players from the bracket made the Mythical Selection of the Euros
– France’s Killian Hayes who was the Most Valuable Player, and Croatia’s Matej Rudan.

Hayes is a 6’5” French-American who was born in Lakeland, Florida, and currently plays for Cholet Basketball in France. His father is DeRon Hayes who played college ball at Pennsylvania State University after which he played professionally in France.

Rudan is a 6’9” forward with a seven-foot wingspan who averaged 17.1 points and 6.7 rebounds in the Under-17 Euros.

Argentina is led by Leandro Nicolas Bolmaro, Juan Santiago Hierrezuelo, and Francisco Farabello who emerged as their respective leading scorer, rebounder, and playmaker during the South American Basketball Championships.