Batang Gilas advances to FIBA U16 Asian semis, secures U17 World Cup spot

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Metro Manila (CNN Philippines, September 23) — The Philippines is marching on to the semifinals of the 2023 FIBA Under-16 Asian Championship after defeating Japan, 64-59, Saturday at the Al-Gharafa Sports Club Multi-Purpose Hall in Doha.

Kieffer Alas led the way for Batang Gilas with 29 points, nine rebounds, and three assists.

Japan was in full control of the first half, establishing a 10-point advantage at the break.

It was the Philippines' turn to make a run as Alas dropped 14 of the team's 21 points in the third quarter.

With both sides struggling to connect their outside shots, stifling defense was the key for Batang Gilas as it grabbed the driver's seat and never looked back.

Despite dominating the boards with 58 rebounds compared to the 36 collared by the Philippines, Japan could not find its rhythm when it mattered.

The victory gave the Batang Gilas a seat in the FIBA Under-17 World Cup happening next year in Turkiye.

Joaquin Ludovice chipped in 11 points and three rebounds, while Kurt Velasquez added 10 points for the Philippines.

Shogo Takata tallied 12 markers for Japan.

Batang Gilas will face Australia in the semis on Sept. 24.