Sometimes, the feeling of a bad loss can be enough of a motivation to rally and win the next time around. When such a situation happens in sports, the addition of the quality of an athlete or a team’s next opponent can also factor into what may or may not be a runaway comeback victory. Such has been the most recent story about the Batang Gilas, the under-16 component of the Philippine National Basketball Team, currently competing at the ongoing FIBA Under-16 Asian Championship. Following a crushing defeat at the hands of Australia, Batang Gilas emerged victorious over Hong Kong.
AB’S-CBN News reports that on the afternoon of Thursday, April 5, the Batang Gilas team gave back what they had received the day before, when they were overpowered by Australia at a staggering score of 82-52. Over 24 hours later, the country’s Under-16 basketball boys went on to pound team Hong Kong, resulting in an even more lopsided 103-61 conclusion. This win has secured for the Batang Gilas a slot on the quarterfinal bracket of the tournament that is being held at the Foshan Lingnan Mingzhu Gym in Foshan, China.
This triumph by the Philippine team against Hong Kong comes as perhaps the easiest in all the games they have played in the 2018 Asian Championship thus far. Their debut game in the tournament, against Malaysia on Monday April 2, was arguably a close affair with the Batang Gilas squeezing past with a 62-57 victory. Compared to them and Australia, Hong Kong came across as a breather, if the 31-18 lead the Philippines built in the game’s first quarter was any indication. Hong Kong’s Lung Tzs Kit sinking the very first basket of the entire game was about the only time that Batang Gilas was trailing behind the opposing team.
Comparing the players in physicality, the Filipinos also had a considerable height advantage to the point that they got 74 rebounds to Hong Kong’s 42. The latter’s top player Lung Tzs Kit may have totaled 18 points in the game, but he was eclipsed by the number of Batang Gilas with 2-digit scores: King Balaga and Christian Calimag both with 12 points; Geoffrey Chiu, Terrence Fortea, Forthsky Padrigao and Kai Sotto all with 11 points; and McClaude Guadana with 10. The Philippines will be facing Japan’s under-17 national team on their quarterfinal game for the Asian Championship Friday, April 6.
Photo courtesy of ABSCBN News