Batang Gilas routed United Arab Emirates, 92-49, on Monday night at the Bangkok Thai-Japan Youth Center in Nonthaburi, Thailand in the FIBA Asia Under-18 Championship.
The youthful Filipino squad was never seriously challenged for the entire match as head coach Josh Reyes was able to field the rest of his squad for extended minutes while giving the starters extended rest in anticipation of the showdown with China for the Group B leader board.
The winner of Tuesday’s showdown between Batang Gilas and China will top Group B and earn a spot to the tournament quarterfinals.
Filipino-Nigerian AJ Edu, one of the two breakout stars of Batang Gilas – the other is Fil-Italian point guard Delph Panopio — scored 16 points on 6-of-9 shooting while grabbing eight rebounds in under 16 minutes of action.
Fellow Twin Tower Kai Sotto added 14 points and eight boards.
UAE were a little livelier after scoring only 27 points in their loss to China and were able to surpass that point total with a few minutes left in the first half against the Philippines. Alsawan and Albreiki both finished with double-digit scoring for UAE in their second straight loss.
With two minutes left in the game, Shaun Chiu made his first two points of the game to assure that everyone on the team got on the scoreboard.