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Australia dashes Batang Gilas finals bid, enters U18 final

Players and staff of Australia and the Philippines pose for a photo op during their semifinal match-up of the FIBA Under-18 Asian Championships. FIBA Photo. 

By Ricky Manliguis

MANILA-- Australia stamped its dominance over Batang Gilas, hacking out a masterful 77-43 win to punch the last finals ticket of the 2018 FIBA Under-18 Asian Championship at Stadium 29 in Nonthaburi, Thailand Friday night.

The Aussies banked on a blistering second-quarter assault then limited the Pinoys to its lowest scoring output in the tournament for the victory and a finals date with New Zealand tomorrow. 

Batang Gilas was relegated to the battle for the bronze medal opposite China. 

With Batang Gilas trailing by just two points after the first quarter, 12-14, the Emus went on a 30-8 scoring tear anchored by Kody Stattman for a 44-20 edge at the break. 

The onslaught went on into the second half, with the lead as high as 41, 70-29, and never looked back since. 

Samson Froling issued an all-around game for Australia with 12 points, seven rebounds, three blocks, and an assist, even as Callum Dalton and Sttatman each had 10. Four others scored seven markers. 

Twin towers Kai Sotto and AJ Edu slumped offensively, combining to just 11 points on a horrid 5-of-13 clip from the field for Batang Gilas. 

Australia shot better from the field at 42 percent (33-for-78) while Batang Gilas struggled with its 16-of-65 clip (24.62%). It also lorded over the rebounding battle (54-47) and stole the ball 14 times. 

Edu finished with nine points and 10 rebounds, while Gerry Abadiano added eight for the Pinoy dribblers, now relegated to the battle for the bronze medal opposite China.

Sotto registered just two points on a measly 1-of-5 shooting with eight boards and three assists. 

New Zealand booked its finals stint by upending China, 87-82, in the other semifinal. 

The Scores:
AUSTRALIA 77 – Froling 12, Dalton 10, Stattman 10, Bowen 8, Gatbel 7, Lee 7, Robertson 7, Wigness 7, Leaupepe 6, Krause 3, Armstrong 0.

PHILIPPINES 43 – Edu 9, Abadiano 8, Cortez 6, Torres 6, Ildefonso 5, Panopio 4, Oczon 3, Sotto 2, Amsali 0, Chiu 0, Lina 0, Ramirez 0.

Quarterscores: : 14-12, 44-20, 60-28, 77-43

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