FIBA Asia U18:

China hammers Batang Gilas, 76-57

August 11, 2018 – Nonthaburi

FIBA Asia Under-18 News 2018: China hammered hard and avenged its eliminations loss to Batang Gilas, 76-57, in the Semifinals of 2018 FIBA Asia Under-18 Championships this Saturday In Nonthaburi Thailand. Kai Sotto led the defeated Pinoy five with his 16 points, 8 rebounds and 4 steals, while AJ Edu added 14 markers and 8 rebounds.


➤ The Filipinos fell to 4th place and failed to reach the podium as China raced to snatch the Bronze medal.

Wang Quanze led the pummeling for China with his 28 buckets, 14 boards and 4 assists.

➤ The Philippine basketball team defeat highlighted the inefficiency of the Batang Gilas bench which relied heavily on the contribution of stars Dalph Panopio, AJ Edu, Kai Sotto, Dave Ildefonso and Miguel Oczon

➤ RP five also had a bad shooting day as they only made 21 of 59 shots (36% fieldgoal) compared to China’s 31 of 68 clip (49%). China also moved the ball better as they finished with 20 assists compared to 7 by the Philippines.

 The 4th place finish remains to be the best in 28 years as the Pinoys last made it to 3rd place during the tournament’s 1990 staging.

 Batang Gilas is already assured of a place in the FIBA World Under-19 Championships in 2019 despite the painful loss to China.

Game Scores:
Quarters: 27-14, 43-26, 59-43, 76-57.

china: 76

Wang Q. 28, Xu 18, Li 9, Guo 8, Wang Y. 7, Jiang 7, Chen 0, Shi 0.

batang gilas: 57

Sotto 16, Edu 14, Ildefonso 9, Oczon 7, Panopio 5, Abadiano 2, Amsali 2, Cortez 2, Torres 0, Ramirez 0, Lina 0.

Posted on August 11, 2018 - Nonthaburi Thailand

Written by Rock Punzalan for Philippine Basketball News Team

FIBA Asia U18:

Australia halts Batang Gilas, 77-43

August 10, 2018 – Nonthaburi

FIBA Asia Under-18 News 2018: Australia halted Batang Gilas, 77-43, in the quarterfinals of 2018 FIBA Asia Championships this Friday evening in Nonthaburi Thailand. The Aussies limited the Philippines to only 43 points total and leveled the twin tower duo of AJ Edu and Kai Sotto to only single-digit points output. The suffocating full-court defense also disrupted the efficiency of the dribble drive offense of Batang Gilas.


Samson Froling paced the Australian offensive juggernaut with his 12 buckets, 7 boards, 3 blocks and 2 steals.

➤ AJ Edu led the losing Filipinos with his 9 points, 10 rebounds and 3 blocks, while Gerry Abadiano also added 8 markers.

➤ The fabulous trio of Kai Sotto, Dave Ildefonso and Dalph Panopio were limited to a dismal 11 points total output as they were hounded by the Australian defense all day long. It also didn’t help the Pinoy five cause as they converted only 16 of 65 shots for a 25% fieldgoal clip.

➤ Australia stole the ball 15 times compared to Philippine’s 2 steals total, and made 16 fastbreak points to RP’s 4 total.

Batang Gilas is now effectively out of the contention for the championship, but will later rematch with a pesky China squad led by Guo Hao Wen for the 3rd Place (Bronze medal) ballgame.

Game Scores:
Quarters: 14-12, 44-20, 60-28, 77-43.

australia: 77

Froling 12, Dalton 10, Stattman 10, Bowen 8, Gatbel 7, Lee 7, Robertson 7, Wigness 7, Leaupepe 6, Krause 3, Armstrong 0.

batang gilas: 43

Edu 9, Abadiano 8, Cortez 6, Torres 6, Ildefonso 5, Panopio 4, Oczon 3, Sotto 2, Amsali 0, Chiu 0, Lina 0, Ramirez 0.

Posted August 11, 2018 - Nonthaburi, Thailand

Written by Rock Punzalan for Philippine Basketball News Team

FIBA Asia U18:

Batang Gilas blitzes past Bahrain, 67-52

August 9, 2018 – Nonthaburi

FIBA Asia Under-18 News 2018: Batang Gilas blitzed past Bahrain, 67-52, in the 2018 FIBA Asia Under-18 Championships this Thursday at Nonthaburi, Thailand. Kai Sotto starred with his 21 points, 10 rebounds and 3 blocks, while AJ Edu also contributed 16 markers, 17 boards, 3 assists and 2 swats.


Miguel Andre Oczon also chipped-in 10 buckets for the young Pinoys.

Baqer Ali fought for the losing Bahrain five with 13 buckets and 3 caroms.

The Batang Gilas victory effectively earned them a spot in the FIBA Under-19 World Cup. It was in 1979 when the Philippine basketball team last made it to the prestigious cagefest.

➤ Additionally, the Filipinos placed 13th during the last FIBA World Cup Under-17 tournament.

➤ The young Filipino five will next face Australia this Friday, August 10. The Aussies ended their quarterfinals assignment by beating Japan, 88-52. The match-up will be particularly special, given the recent history of both national squads.

Game Scores:
Quarters: 20-11, 26-34, 48-45, 67-52.

batang gilas: 67

Sotto 21, Edu 16, Oczon 10, Ildefonso 6, Panopio 4, Abadiano 3, Ramirez 3, Amsali 2, Cortez 2, Chiu 0, Lina 0.

bahrain: 52

Ali, B. 13, Awadh 13, Rashed, M. 11, Rashed, A. 7, Dindayneh 2, Hamoda 2, Aboukuora 2, Kadhem 2, Ali, A. 0, Alrowaila 0, Al Koohiji 0, Nawaf 0.

Posted August 10, 2018 - Nonthaburi Thailand

Written by Rock Punzalan for Philippine Basketball News Team

FIBA Asia U18:

Batang Gilas bludgeons China, 73-63

August 7, 2018 – Nonthaburi

FIBA Asia Under-18 News 2018: Batang Gilas bludgeoned China, 73-63, in the 2018 FIBA Asia Under-18 Championships this Tuesday evening in Nonthaburi Thailand. Dave Ildefonso proved once more that his celebrated performance against Lebanon was no fluke as he powered Batang Gilas with his 18 points, 7 rebounds and 2 assists, while AJ Edu also contributed  a double-double of 13 markers and 14 boards.


Dalph Panopio also contributed 12 buckets, while Kai Sotto dropped his own double-double of 11 points, 10 caroms and 4 blocks.

Haowen Guo paced the losing Chinese with 13 points and 6 rebounds.

➤ The young Gilas five are now assured of a quarterfinal slot in the tournament. They will either face Bahrain, South Korea or Chinese Taipei in the next round.

➤ The top four teams will be automatically included in the next year’s FIBA World U18 Championships.

Game Scores:
Quarters: 18-15, 31-27, 54-39, 73-63

batang gilas: 73

Ildefonso 18, Edu 13, Panopio 12, Sotto 11, Oczon 11, Torres 5, Abadiano 2, Cortez 1, Ramirez 0, Amsali 0, Lina 0, Chiu 0.

china: 63

Guo 24, Jiang Q 14, Wang Q 13, Xu 7, Jiang W 5, Shi 0, Li 0, Chen 0, Wang Y 0.

Posted August 8, 2018 - Nonthaburi, Thailand

Written by Rock Punzalan for Philippine Basketball News Team

FIBA Asia U18:

Batang Gilas destroys UAE, 92-49

August 6, 2018 – Nonthaburi

FIBA Asia Under-18 News 2018: Batang Gilas destroyed UAE, 92-49, in the FIBA Asia Under-18 Championships this Monday at  Nonthaburi Thailand. Twin Tower combination worked for the young GIlas as 6’10 AJ Edu dropped 16 points and 8 rebounds, while 7’1 Kai Sotto also contributed 14 markers and 8 boards.


Rhyavan Amsali also added 13 buckets and 5 caroms for the Under-18 Pinoy five.

Mohamed Alhashmi powered the losing United Arab Emirates squad with 18 points and 3 rebounds.

Batang Gilas will next face China this Tuesday, August 7 at 6:45PM.

➤ The top 4 teams in this tournament will clinch a spot to play in next year’s 2019 FIBA World Under-19 Championships.

Game Scores:
Quarters: 29-14, 50-31, 69-44, 92-49.

batang gilas: 92

Edu 16, Sotto 14, Amsali 13, Torres 12, Panopio 7, Cortez 6, Lina 6, Abadiano 6, Ramirez 5, Oczon 3, Ildefonso 2.

uae: 49

Alhashmi 18, Albreiki 11, Hussein 8, Albloushi 4, Almaeeni 4, Alblooshi 4, M. Alhammadi 0, S. Alhammadi 0, Alhosani 0, Alketbi 0, AlSawan 0, Alteneiji 0.

August 7, 2018 - Nonthaburi, Thailand

Written by Rock Punzalan for Philippine Basketball News Team

FIBA Asia Under-18 News:

Batang Gilas cracks Lebanon, 75-53

August 5, 2018 – Nonthaburi

FIBA Asia Under-18 News 2018: Batang Gilas cracked Lebanon, 75-53, in the 2018 FIBA Asia Under-18 Championship this Sunday in Nonthaburi, Thailand. Dave Ildefonso led the young Gilas five with his 19 big points, while Fil-Nigerian AJ Edu also contributed 17 markers, 12 caroms and 3 blocks.


➤ Fil-Italian Dalph Panopio also chipped-in 12 buckets, 6 assists and 4 boards, while Kai Sotto added 12 points.

Alexander Zanbaka paced the losing Lebanese side with his 12 buckets and 5 boards.

The young Philippine squad had too much height against Lebanon, as they outrebounded their middle eastern counterpart, 61-36.

Batang Gilas will next square-off against UAE this Monday, August 6.

Game Scores:
Quarters: 25-15, 41-33, 59-41, 75-53.

batang gilas: 75

Ildefonso 19, Edu 17, Panopio 12, Sotto 12, Amsali 5, Ramirez 5, Cortez 2, Chiu 2, Abadiano 1, Lina 0, Oczon 0, Torres 0.

lebanon: 53

Zanbaka 12, Kopaly 9, Dargham 7, Kasab 6, Bedikian 6, Htait 5, Khoueiry 3, Khayat 2, Mougharbel 2, Saade 1, Karime 0, Samaha 0.

Posted August 6, 2018 - Nonthaburi, Thailand

Written by Rock Punzalan for Philippine Basketball News Team

Pilipinas Basketball 2018:

Australia Boomers stops Gilas Pilipinas, 84-68

February 23, 2018 – Margaret Court Arena

Australia Boomers stops Gilas Pilipinas, 84-68

photo courtesy of FIBA

FIBA Asian Qualifiers 2019 World Cup News: Gilas Pilipinas failed to sustain an early first-half blitzkrieg as it fell to the towering Australia Boomers, 68-84, in the FIBA Asian Qualifiers for the 2019 World Cup yesterday Thursday at the Margaret Court Arena in Melbourne. Hot shooting Cameron Gliddon paced the Boomers with 16 points, while scrappy forward Mitch Creek contributed 12 markers and 11 caroms.


Pilipinas Basketball is now down to a 2-1 win-loss slate in the continuing second window of the qualifiers.

Philippine Basketball Team held on to a proud 30-25 lead midway the second canto but the Boomers from the land down under answered with a fiery 12-2 run, catapulted by Nick Kay’s double treys, giving them the 37-32 lead before the half-time break.

➤ Australia continually pounded the hapless RP Five from the rainbow country as they built an insurmountable 18 point lead in the fourth quarter, 77-59.

➤ Gilas made a dismal showing in the free throw line as they missed 12 of 19 foul throws. Their field-goal percentage of 43.8 was hardly a factor throughout the ballgame as they also trailed in the rebounds department where the Aussies massacred them 50 to 30.

“The Kraken” June Mar Fajardo led the losing Filipinos with 15 buckets, while Matthew Wright added 9 goals. Naturalized player Andray Blatche ran out of steam as he only managed to drop 8 points and 7 rebounds in 25 minutes.

Gilas Pilipinas will next face rival Japan NT (Akatsuki Five) on February 25 at the Mall of Asia Arena.

➤ Filipino: FIBA Asian Qualifiers 2019 World Cup Balita • Hindi umubra ang paunang bulusok ng Gilas Pilipinas matapos itong pabagsakin ng Australia Boomers, 68-84, sa FIBA Asian Qualifiers para sa 2019 World Cup kahapon ng Huwebes sa Margaret Court Arena sa Melbourne. Tumikada para sa Boomers si Cameron Gliddon sa kanyang16 puntos, maging ang forward na si Mitch Creek ay nagtala ng 12 buslo at 11 rebounds.

Game Scores:
Quarters: 19-19, 37-32, 63-49, 84-68.

australia boomers: 84

Gliddon 16, Brandt 13, Creek 12, Lisch 12, Kay 7, Hodgson 6, Kickert 5, Norton 4, Wagstaff 4, Cadee 2, Sobey 2, McCarron 1.

gilas pilipinas: 68

Fajardo 15, Wright 9, Blatche 8, Pogoy 8, Norwood 7, Ravena 6, Alas 6, Abueva 5, Aguilar 2, Tratter 2, Cruz 0, Malicsi 0.

Posted on February 23, 2018 - Margaret Court Arena - Melbourne

Written by Rock Punzalan for Philippine Basketball News Team

Pilipinas Basketball 2018:

Gilas Pilipinas faces Australia Boomers sans Castro

February 21, 2018 – Manila

Gilas Pilipinas faces Australia Boomers sans Castro
photo courtesy of FIBA
FIBA Asian Qualifiers 2019 World Cup News: Gilas Pilipinas will battle a full strength Australia Boomers tomorrow Thursday minus ace Filipino Jayson Castro William. Castro recently injured his ankle during a game with Talk N Text KaTropa against Phoenix Fuel Masters last February 7 in the PBA. Kiefer Ravena and Kevin Alas will have to shoulder the pointguard duties for the FIBA Asian Qualifiers to the 2019 World Cup as Jio Jalalon was also relegated to the reserved list.


➤ “As of yesterday, he (Castro) tried to go hard in last night’s practice and still, he was not there at all so we decided it wasn’t worth the risk. So Jayson is going to sit out together with Jio (Jalalon), who is also feeling a slight pain in his legs. We decided to play the guys not experiencing any nagging injuries at this point,” confirmed Reyes via Sports5 Facebook live video stream.

➤ The absence of “The Blur” Castro, once the Best Point Guard of Asia, leaves a big hole to the campaign of the Philippine Basketball team. His innate ability to slash and penetrate inside opponent defense will surely be missed. “The Phenom” Kiefer Ravena will have to bring in his bag of tricks to make up for the loss of Castro. He will have to team-up with point veteran Kevin Alas to steer Pilipinas Basketball as Jio Jalalon will also sit out due to injury.

➤ Meanwhile, “The Beast” Calvin Abueva is back to the Gilas fold as head coach Chot Reyes gave the green light to the fiery Kapampangan forward to return to the RP Five lineup. Abueva was previously axed from the roster together with beanpole Raymund Almazan after missing the Gilas first three practices. Nevertheless, Calvin proved his worth to the team as he attended the subsequent training sessions even without the assurance of inclusion.

➤ Coach Chot announced the reentry of Abueva as Troy Rosario and Mac Belo were placed on the reserved list also due to injuries. “Since then, even he (Abueva) knew he was not going to be in the final 12 for the second window, he never missed any practice, he did what we asked of him, whether as a practice player or member of the scouting team,” Reyes said.

➤ Gilas Pilipinas full line-up includes Andray Blatche, June Mar Fajardo, Abu Tratter, Kiefer Ravena, Kevin Alas, Matthew Wright, Roger Pogoy, Japeth Aguilar, Calvin Abueva, Allein Maliksi, Gabe Norwood and Carl Bryan Cruz.

Filipino: FIBA Asian Qualifiers 2019 World Cup Balita • Babanggain ng Gilas Pilipinas ang buong puwersa ng Australia Boomers bukas ng Huwebes ng hindi kasama ang pambatong si Jayson Castro William. Na-injure kamakailan sa gulugod si Castro matapos maglaro para sa Talk N Text Katropa noon Pebrero 7 kontra Phoenix Fuel Masters sa PBA. Dahil dito ay magtitimon na sina Kiefer Ravena at Kevin Alas bilang pointguards ng koponang pambansa ng Pilipinas sa FIBA Asian Qualifiers tungo sa 2019 World Cup, matapos na si Jio Jalalon ay mauwi rin sa injury.

Posted on February 21, 2018 - Manila

Written by Rock Punzalan for Philippine Basketball News Team

Pilipinas Basketball 2018:

Castro propels Gilas Pilipinas over Japan NT, 77-71

November 24, 2017 – Komazawa Olympic Park

Castro propels Gilas Pilipinas over Japan NT, 77-71
photo courtesy of FIBA
FIBA World Qualifiers 2017 News: Jayson Castro William’s all-game heroics lifted Gilas Pilipinas over a game Japan NT, 77-71, to register a win in the FIBA World Cup Asian Qualifiers 2017 at the Komazawa Olympic Park in Tokyo this Friday. Castro spearheaded Pilipinas Basketball with 20 big points, 7 rebounds and 6 assists, while Andray Blatche chimed-in 13 buckets and 12 caroms for RP Five.


➤ Asia’s two-time best point guard “The Blur” Castro-William, stabilized RP squad as the Japanese home-team mounted several uprisings. Jayson made Japan bleed making 5 out of the last 7 crucial points of Gilas in the final minute, especially the dagger trey at 1:14 remaining.

➤ Gilas Pilipinas led for most of the entire ballgame but Japan’s Akatsuki Five stayed uncomfortably close. Gilas built a large 14-point lead in the second quarter, 24-10, following Kiefer Ravena’s foul throw. The Japanese rallied back with a 12-0 blast in the third to pull ahead, 37-40, until the Filipino dribblers answered with their own 10-3 run to wrest back the lead, 53-46.

➤ Four Filipinos scored in double digits with Castro and Blatche leading with 20 and 13, while Matthew Wright had 12 and Gabe Norwood with 10.

➤ Japan ace Makoto Hiejima led the Nippon charge with huge 20 points and 5 rebounds, while naturalized Ira Brown contributed 10 buckets and 15 boards as well.

➤ Pilipinas Basketball will next face Taiwan (Chinese Taipei) this Monday, November 27 at the Smart Araneta Coliseum.

Filipino: FIBA World Qualifiers 2017 Balita • Namayani si Jayson Castro William upang iangat ang Gilas Pilipinas kontra sa Japan NT, 77-71, at itala ang unang tagumpay nito sa FIBA World Cup Asian Qualifiers 2017 sa Komazawa Olympic Park in Tokyo ngayon Biyernes. Nanguna si Castro para sa Pilipinas Basketball sa kanyang 20 puntos, 7 rebounds at 6 na pasa, maging si Andray Blatche ay nag-ambag ng 13 buslo at 12 rebounds para sa koponang pambansa.
Game Scores:
Quarters: 18-10, 37-28, 59-55, 77-71.

gilas pilipinas: 77

Castro William 20, Blatche 13, Wright 12, Norwood 10, Fajardo 6, Aguilar 5, Abueva 5, Pogoy 5, Ravena 1, Alas 0, Rosario 0.

japan: 71

Hiejima 20, Brown 10, Tanaka 10, Togashi 8, Baba 7, Harimoto 7, Shinoyama 4, J. Takeuchi 3, Ota 2, Furukawa 0, Uto 0.

Posted on November 24, 2017 - Komazawa Olympic Park - Tokyo

Written by Rock Punzalan for Philippine Basketball News Team


The long and winding road back to the elusive Asian Cage throne

July 19, 2006

The Philippines was once the basketball king of Asia. Thought to be merely invincible in Asia – untouchable as one would say. The class that past Philippine teams showed during the Pre and Post-World War 2 era was simply at par with the world’s best.