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Batang Gilas goes to "group of death" in FIBA U17 tourney

Kai Sotto and the rest of Batang Gilas will next face three tough teams in the FIBA U17 Championship. FIBA (file photo)
By Ivan Saldajeno

MANILA--Batang Gilas ended up in a very tough group following the formality of the FIBA Asia U16 Championship semifinalists' stint in the FIBA U17 Championship next year in Argentina.

The Philippine side, which finished fourth in the FIBA Asia tourney, goes to Group D with Croatia, France, and the host nation.

With the four teams known to be solid teams in their respective continents, Group D was tagged by many as the "group of death".

Australia, the eventual champion of the FIBA Asia U16 Championship, joins Group A with Puerto Rico, Turkey, and Dominican Republic, while China, the runner-up, is grouped with Mali, USA, and Serbia in Group B.

The other team at the FIBA Asia podium, New Zealand, joins Canada, Egypt, and Montenegro in Group C.

Follow him on Twitter: @IvanSaldajeno