by Waylon Galvez
There was no brawl just like what marred the Olympic qualifier match of their seniors a year ago, but the result was almost the same – a runaway win for the Aussies.
Using its height and heft advantage, Australia demolished Gilas Pilipinas Youth, 82-60, in the consolation round of the FIBA Under-19 World Cup last Friday at the Heraklion University Sports Hall in Greece.
Australia opened the match with a torrid 11-0 run and led as many as 25 points at point of the game, 56-31, that all but took the fight out of the Nationals.
Australia’s 6-foot-11 center James Froling tallied 13 points, 6-foot-7 forward Kody Stattman contributed 11 points, while guards Sean McDonald and Tyler Robertson added 10 points apiece as the Emus repeated against the Filipinos after a 77-43 win during the 2018 FIBA Under-18 Asian Championship semifinals last year in Thailand.
Kai Sotto, the 7-foot-2 center of the national team, collected 12 points and 12 rebounds, while Sean Dave Ildefonso – son of former two-time PBA MVP ‘Danny I’ – led the Philippines with 13 points and Gerry Abadiano had 12 points.
Australia will next play Latvia, with the winner facing either Argentina or host Greece to determine the ninth placer, while the losing team will meet the same team in the bracket for 11th place.
The loss was the fifth straight for the Nationals since their stinging defeat to the host nation.