The Philippines defeated Korea 95-71 to move to the quarter-finals of the FIBA U16 Asian Championship 2023 for the first time at the youth level in FIBA tournaments.
Prior to this game, the Philippines had played Korea four times at the U16 Asian Championship, most recently last year. They’d played each other five times at the U18 level. Korea won each of the nine encounters.
The Philippines eventually broke this youth version of the “Korea Curse” in the ninth encounter between the two teams, and they did it by gaining control early in the game.
Batang Gilas sprayed three-pointers and led by 10 points at the end of the first quarter, but that was just the beginning as they went on to lead by as much as 34 points, never allowing Korea to narrow the margin to single digits until the final buzzer.
In the first quarter, the Philippines went 4-6 from beyond the three-point line. They didn’t slow down after going 5-9 in the second quarter, finishing with a total of 12-26 three-point attempts.
Kiefer Alas entered the game as the Philippines’ leading scorer, averaging 17.3 points per game, but was restricted to only 11 points, despite grabbing 13 rebounds and dishing out four assists. That didn’t matter because Joaquin Ludovice had 25 points, Kurt Velasquez had 17, Bonn Daja had 13 points (and 10 rebounds), and CJ Amos had 10.
Korea’s captain Daniel Edi gave his all with 18 points, 12 rebounds, 4 assists, 1 steal, and 2 blocks, but the squad only connected on 35.7 percent of their field shoots.
The Philippines will now face Japan in the Quarter-Finals.