GILAS Pilipinas U18 rolled past Syria, 112-48, for a resounding first win in the FIBA U18 Asian Championship over the weekend at the Azadi Basketball Hall in Tehran, Iran.
All players hit the board for Gilas led by Fil-Australian Mason Amos, who stamped his class over the Syrians with 26 points, four boards, an assist, two steals and a block in only 16 minutes of action.
Seven Gagate and EJ Abadam turned in 19 markers apiece while Joshua Coronel added 10 as Gilas banked on a scorching 35-7 start on its easy way to a mammoth 64-point win in Group C.
Gilas led by as many as 71 points with U16 standouts Kristian Porter (8) and Jared Bahay (6) also making their presence felt for their seniors.
The Nationals were to shoot for a 2-0 card in Group C last night against Syria to bolster their quarterfinal hopes before wrapping up their preliminary campaign against Chinese Taipei today.
A win by Gilas against Qatar, which bowed to Chinese Taipei on the same day, 96-62, would virtually seal their entry to the next round featuring powerhouse teams Australia, China, South Korea, Japan and host Lebanon.
It’s the first tournament for the new crop of the Philippine youth team since 2018 when the Kai Sotto-led squad finished in the Final Four to qualify in the FIBA U19 World Cup.
Gilas is being mentored by Josh Reyes, who also coached the U16 team that finished seventh in the return of Asian youth tilt last month in Doha, Qatar. — John Bryan Ulanday