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Batang Gilas shoots for 3rd win

Games Today
(Smart Araneta Coliseum)
10 a.m. – Indonesia vs Singapore
12 n.n. – Philippines vs Thailand

Batang Gilas guns for a share of the lead when it takes on Thailand today in the 2017 Southeast Asian Basketball Association (SEABA) U-16 Championship at the Smart Araneta Coliseum.

Game time is set at 12 noon with the Batang Gilas hoping to notch its third straight win to tie idle Malaysia for a share of the lead.

Clashing at 10 a.m. are winless squads Indonesia and Singapore.

The national team was dominant in its opening game, posting a108-42 victory against Singapore last Sunday, before downing a stubborn Indonesia side, 96-73, last Monday.

The U-16 national team took a break yesterday, and mentor Michael Oliver is confident the one-day break is enough for them to correct some ‘bad’ habits especially on the offensive end.

Oliver’s other concern is the tendency of his players to relax which was evident in the third quarter of their game against the Indons where they were outscored, 23-17.

Good thing for Batang Gilas, it managed to regain its bearings and stop Indonesia’s comeback bid.

“So far so good but we’ll still make the adjustments on these things, because we want to be consistent,” said Oliver.

“On offense, we were a bit free-wheeling, we’re not executing our play.”

“We’ll work on that, to have proper spacing to execute the offense. We’re also prepared for Thailand’s pressure defense, because like us, they also use full court pressure defense,” he added.

The defending champion Batang Gilas has displayed its two key strengths of height and speed in their two wins in this tournament that serves as qualifier for this year’s FIBA Asia Championship.

Playing his first international tournament, Kai Sotto immediately made an impression in their game against Singapore by firing 17 points on 7-of-13 shooting from field aside from posting five rebounds and three shot blocks in nearly 15 minutes.

Sotto, the 6-foot-11 son of ex-pro Ervin Sotto, had 12 points – highlighted by a thundering two-handed slam dunk – with seven points off the bench against the Indonesians.

Batang Gilas wingman McLaude Guadaña, on the other hand, came through with a triple-double performance as the stalwart from Lyceum High School in Cavite had 19 points, 10 rebounds and 11 assists with four steals in nearly 30 minutes of action opposite Indonesia.