SANA’A, Yemen (21st FIBA Asia U18 Championship): Philippines outscored Japan 25-8 at exactly midway through the game and then consolidated their position to win 75-57 in a crucial Group F game on Sunday.
Philppines thus improved their position in Group F to 2-2, while Japan suffered their first defeat in the competition – including the three successive wins in the Preliminary Round. Hisao Sato’s boys are now positioned at 3-1, with a game against China in hand.
Phiiippines take on Iraq on Monday in their final Second Round game.
Kiefer Ravena’s 18 points led Philippines scoring and Raphael Banal chipped in with 14.
Banal kick started the proceedings for Philippines converting two free-throws and followed It up with a crisp long ranger. Ravena scored on the paint to help the SEABA champions scored the first seven points of the game.
Japan were left ‘playing catch up’ for the rest of the game.
“It was good those shots went in early in the game,” Philippines coach Eric Altamirano said.
“I’m proud the way boys began with speed, especially after two tiring games (against China and Yemen, both of which Philippines lost),” Altamirano said.
“What made me really pleased was the way we kept our intensity,” he said.
Positioned perilously at 32-25 after the first five minutes of the second quarter, Philippines unleashed their offense fury.
Ravena scored back-to-back on the paint to start a run, which culminated in Von Pessumal’s three-pointer closing the first half for Philippines with a 16-point lead.
The scoring command continued over the first five minutes into the second half, as Ravena and Jeth Rosario scored twice from inside and Cris Toloma from outside.
Thus, Philppines have moved away to a 55-33 lead, incidentally their highest in the game.
“We almost went to sleep during that time, especially in offense,” lamented Japan coach Hisao Sato.
Seiya Ando scored a game-high 22 points for Japan, but only a three-pointer success during this period of Filipino dominance.
“I liked the way we dominated the game, considering that it was really close last time around,” Altamirano said.
The two teams – with almost similar line-ups had played last at last year’s FIBA Asia U16 Championship at Johor Bahru, when Philippines needed the Overtime to win 64-59.
For Game Statistics and Detailed scores click here