BATANG Gilas stakes its unbeaten record against Thailand as the Southeast Asian Basketball (Seaba) Under-16 Championship enters its fourth day of competition on Wednesday at the Smart-Araneta Coliseum.
Back on the court after a one-day rest on Tuesday, the national youth squad squares off with the Thais at 12 noon. Indonesia (0-3) and Singapore (0-2) take the floor at 10 a.m.
The Filipinos are dominating the tournament with easy victories over Singapore, 108-42, and Indonesia, 96-73.
Sitting in second spot behind leader Malaysia, which is unblemished in three games, the Batang Gilas eyes a sweep of the single-round robin tournament where the top 3 teams advance to the Asian championship set later this year.
Six-foot-11 Kai Sotto of Ateneo High School and Mclaude Guadaña of Lyceum of the Philippines University have been delivering for the team of Coach Mike Oliver in the five-nation competition.
Sotto debuted with 17 points, five rebounds and three blocks against Singapore, while the 5-foot-10 Guadaña notched a triple-double of 19 points, 10 boards and 11 assists against Indonesia.
Rence Padrigao and RC Calimag also contributed double-digit outputs in scoring.
Oliver, however, expressed his disappointment over his boys’ tendency to turn complacent.
“We lack the intensity when we have a big lead. We have to do something about it,” Oliver said.
The Thais notched their first win on Tuesday courtesy of a 79-69 trouncing of Indonesia.
Playing with more determination after a 62-74 opening-day loss to Malaysia two days ago, Thailand got huge numbers from its bench as guard Arnagorn Humthuanlom scored 21 points. Five other Thais scored in double figures.
The men’s team Gilas Pilipinas, meanwhile, went for their fourth straight victory against Thailand on Tuesday night. Gilas tackles Vietnam today and Indonesia in its last game on Thursday.