MANILA, Philippines — Whoever coach Mike Oliver brought into the game delivered very well for Batang Gilas on both ends of the floor.
As a result, another one-sided victory for the host country.
Three-time defending champions Batang Gilas Pilipinas sent a strong message to other teams participating in this year’s SEABA U16 Championship after completely dismantling a hapless Singapore side, 108-42, for its first win at the Smart Araneta Coliseum.
Like how the senior team crushed its first two opponents, Batang Gilas capitalized on its massive height advantage right from the get-go, forcing series of turnovers that led to fastbreak opportunities to open its bid for a fourth straight title on a high note.
Towering over his smaller defenders, 6-foot-11 Kai Sotto debuted on the international stage with 17 points, five rebounds, and three blocks in just 15 minutes, while Rence Padrigao and Terrence Fortea came off the bench to score 14 points apiece to lead Batang Gilas.
Padrigao and Fortea also combined for 11 rebounds, 10 assists, and five steals.
Rafael Go added 11 as all Batang Gilas players scored at least two points.
The Philippines battles Indonesia (0-1) tomorrow before taking a break on Tuesday. Earlier, Indonesia fell short of its comeback attempt and yield to Malaysia, 63-58.
Batang Gilas opened the game with a 19-3 run and limited the Singaporeans to just 16 second-half points to set nothing but the dominant win.
The home team dominated every facet of the game: from rebounding up to the blocking department to completely shut down Singapore’s offense.
The Philippines limited the Singaporeans to just 15 of 70 shooting from the field and forced them into 32 turnovers that were translated to 45 points in return. The former also outrebounded the latter, 69-42, and had more assists, 30-8.
Pouncing on its height advantage, Batang Gilas scored 70 points inside the paint and 27 off second chance opportunity. Singapore, on the other hand, was limited to just 20 and eight, respectively.
Lok Yao Tor led Singapore with 10 points, four rebounds, and three assists but lacked support from his teammates, who struggled to figure out Philippines’ pressure defense.
PHILIPPINES 108 – Sotto 17, Fortea 14, Padrigao 14, Go 11, Calimag 9, Guadana 9, Pascual 9, Lazaro 7, Cortez 6, Lina 6, Chiu 4, Tan 2.
SINGAPORE 42 – Tor 10, Bryan 8, Amado 4, Chin 4, Chuabiao 4, Li 4, Teo 4, Soh 2, Tan 2, Lacsado 0, Lim 0, Razali 0.
Quarterscores: 33-12, 56-26, 84-35, 106-42. –Julian Rikki Reyes