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Batang Gilas sweeps and retains SEABA U16 after routine Malaysia beating

Walking Tall. Kai Sotto and Batang Gilas successfully retained the SEABA U16 title on home soil for the second straight edition. (file)
By Kevin Estrada

QUEZON CITY -- The Philippines remain the kings of youth basketball of Southeast Asia, tearing Malaysia down to shreds, 83-62 in their final game of the SEABA U16 Championship here at the Big Dome.

It took a huge second half onslaught of Mike Oliver's young guns to take the fight away from the game Malaysians who even started the game on a surprising 5-0 run to remain as champions for the fourth consecutive edition.

Most attempts of establishing double-digit leads by Batang Gilas early in the first half were thwarted by Malaysia's timely shots as the hosts only lead by 7, 43-36 at the break.

Batang Gilas finally took control of the second half, and fired the killer blow into Malaysia's upset hopes with a crippling 14-0 run in 6:13 between two quarters to turn a 63-52 lead into a 25-point bubble with 5:41 to go to formalize their coronation inside the championship capital of Philippine Basketball.

Five of the Batang Gilas scored in double figures with Kai Sotto, RC Calimag and Terrence Fortea each had 15 points to complete a 4-0 shutout to win the title and booked their place in the FIBA Asia tilt along with their vanquished foes.

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