|Malcolm Cazalon helped keep France afloat despite Batang Gilas' first half surprise. FIBA|
By Ivan Saldajeno
MANILA--Despite a valiant effort in the first half, Batang Gilas went ice cold in the second half and fell to France, 95-54, in their FIBA U17 Championship clash at the Newell's Old Boys Arena in Rosario, Argentina on Monday (Philippine Time).
This time around, the Filipino squad surprised the reigning European U16 champ, staying close in the entire first quarter and even taking a 21-17 lead early in the second.
However, a 21-7 run put France ahead for good, 38-28, although Batang Gilas scored the first half's last four points to trim the lead down to six by halftime.
France then pulled away in the third quarter, outscoring Batang Gilas, 35-13, in the period and sustaining the huge lead until the end.
Malcolm Cazalon tallied 18 points, three rebounds, one assist, one steal, and one block, while Matthieu Gauzin, Theo Maledon, and Killian Hayes each added 14 markers for France, which moved up to 2-0 in Group D.
Carl Tamayo led Batang Gilas with 19 points, 10 rebounds, and two assists, but he was held to just five points in the second half as the team was once again bugged by turnovers (20 in total) and Kai Sotto's foul trouble (he fouled out midway through the fourth).
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