The Philippines’ junior men’s basketball team pulled off the biggest upset so far in after humbling three-time reigning champion China in the second round of the ongoing 2015 FIBA Asia U-16 Championship being held in Jakarta, Indonesia.
More popularly known as Batang Gilas, the Filipinos made history by snapping China’s 31-game winning run spread over four editions of the tournament Tuesday.
Gian Mamuyac scored 22 points for the Philippines, which listed the final 10 points of the game to steal the win from their much bigger and taller opponents. He also listed three rebounds, five assists, three steals, and two blocks for an overall impressive showing in his 30:15 minutes on the hardcourt.
The young Filipinos’ victory was somehow a payback of some sorts for the basketball-crazy country, whose older Gilas Pilipinas team bowed to China in the FIBA Asia Men’s Championship last October.
Batang Gilas bounced back from their heartbreak of a loss against South Korea last Monday.
Trailing at 67-72, Batang Pilipinas stuffed 11 unanswered points – a three-pointer each from Kris Pagsanjan, Jason Credo and Samjosef Belangel combined with Jonas Tibayan from the free-throw line accounting for them – for their fifth win in six games.
China, who topped Group F despite the defeat, will go up against Kuwait with the winner moving on to a semifinal clash against the winner of the Korean-Lebanon tiff in the quarterfinal round.
As the second seed in Group F, the Philippines, meanwhile, advances to the knockout phase of the tournament on Thursday in the quarterfinals against Group E’s third-seed Japan which currently has a 3-2, win-loss card.
The 2015 FIBA Asia U16 Championship takes a break on Wednesday followed by three days of battles in the playoffs which will decide the three Asian representatives to the 2017 FIBA U17 World Championship.
The Philippines finished in second spot in the last staging of the tournament in 2013.