PH U-16 team barges into FIBA Asia semis
MANILA, Philippines – The Philippine Under-16 team advanced to the semi-finals of the 3rd FIBA Asia Under-16 Championships after routing hosts Iran, 79-52, in the quarter-finals of the tournament Wednesday night.
The win allowed the Philippines to make it to the last four of the tournament for the third straight time, where they will face off against Chinese-Taipei.
It also gave the Philippines a measure of revenge against Iran, after the the Mideast country's national team routed Gilas Pilipinas in the gold medal game of the FIBA Asia Championship in Manila last August.
“We were really motivated by the defeat that happened to Gilas in Manila,” said Jolo Mendoza in the FIBA Asia website. [http://www.fibaasia.net/NewsDetails.aspx?id=3716]
Mendoza fired 16 points as the young Filipino ballers relied on their high octane offense to stun the Iranians, who have never lost a knockout game on home soil before.
“I told them to play with their heart,” said PH U-16 coach Jamike Jarin. “But I also added a note saying that to win, they needed to use their mind as well.”
The Philippines broke away in the second quarter with a 12-0 run. Four other players scored in double-digits for the Philippines. Scheil Farhadichalabeh exploded for 26 points, but he was the only Iranian in double-figures.
The Philippines shot 46% from the field to only 33% for Iran. They also controlled the boards, 47-36, and scored 19 points off 16 Iran turnovers.
The top three team in the FIBA Asia U-16 competition will advance to the FIBA Under-17 World Championships next year.