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Batang Gilas bows out

The Philippines squandered a seven-point fourth quarter lead and dropped a heartbreaking 93-85 loss to South Korea yesterday to bow out of the FIBA Asia U-18 Championship in Tehran, Iran.

The team known as Batang Gilas were on the verge of claiming a quarterfinal victory over the South Koreans after JV Gallego made it 80-73 with 4:10 remaining in the ballgame.

But the Koreans engineered a stunning 20-5 windup behind Yungi Ha and Minuk Park, whose three-pointer put them ahead for good at 82-80 with 2:25 remaining to confirm their place in the semifinals of the FIBA U-17 World Championship qualifier.

Jolo Mendoza’s 19 points and 6-foot-8 center Kemark Carino’s 18 points and 12 rebounds went to waste as the Filipino cagers ended their title bid following a campaign marred by a shock 74-71 loss to unheralded Thailand in the first round.