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Batang Gilas subdues Malaysia at start of FIBA Asia U16 Championship

Terrence Fortea bucked off a sluggish day from the outside to lead the way for Batang Gilas. FIBA
By Ivan Saldajeno

MANILA--Batang Gilas was off to a slow start in the FIBA Asia U16 Championship but still found a way to beat Southeast Asian rival Malaysia, 62-57, on Monday at the Lingnan Mingzhu Gymnasium in Foshan, China.

A far cry from their previous meeting at the SEABA U16 Championship, Batang Gilas found itself struggling from the field, but defense set the tone for the team to repeat over Malaysia.

Struggling to make its shots in the first quarter, Batang Gilas found itself trailing, 11-13, after the first quarter.

But as the team maintained its defensive stand on Malaysia, the Filipino side's offense began to pick up in the next two quarters and eventually took a 49-40 lead after the third quarter.

Malaysia still tried to inch closer in the fourth quarter, but Batang Gilas kept its opponent scoreless for the remaining 1:04 of the game.

Despite struggling from long range, Terrence Fortea led Batang Gilas, which will take the Tuesday off before facing newcomer Australia on Wednesday, with 15 points, nine rebounds, two assists, and one steal.

Kai Sotto added 12 points, 16 rebounds, two assists, and four blocks even as Raven Cortez had his own double-double of 12 points and 12 rebounds with two steals and one block.

John Tang led Malaysia with 17 points, four rebounds, one assist, one steal, and one block.

Box Scores:

Philippines 62-Fortea 15, Sotto 12, Cortez 12, Calimag 8, Go 4, Padrigao 3, Gaudana 3, Andrada 3, Lazaro 2, Bautista 0, Balaga 0, Chiu 0

Malaysia 57-Tang 17, J. Lee 9, Y. Teoh 8, Wong 8, E. Tan 4, Woo 4, Yap 3, C. Tan 2, Khor 2, W. Teoh 0, W. Lee 0

Quarterscores: 11-13, 30-27, 49-40, 62-57

Follow him on Twitter: @IvanSaldajeno