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Batang Gilas makes it 2 in a row, creams UAE

Fil-Nigerian AJ Edu was the spark in Batang Gilas' win over UAE. FIBA Photo. 

By Ricky Manliguis

MANILA-- The Philippines posted its second straight win in the 2018 FIBA Under-18 Asian Championship by walloping United Arab Emirates, 92-49, Monday night at the Bangkok Thai-Japan Youth Center in Thailand.

With AJ Edu and Kai Sotto once again feasting in the paint coupled with balanced scoring, Batang Gilas thus followed up its opening day against Lebanon with another masterclass for a 2-0 win-loss card in Group B. 

Edu had 16 points, eight rebounds and a block, while Sotto issued 14 and eight boards for the boys of Coach Josh Reyes. 

Xyrus Torres fired four triples for 12 points, while Rhayyan Amsali churned in 13 with five boards off the bench. Raven Cortez collared 13 rebounds to go along with his six points. 

Edu led the charge in the first half, scoring 12 points as the Nationals posted a commanding 50-31 halftime lead. 

Sotto and Cortez then took turns in the third quarter, before its defense limited UAE to just five points in the final canto while scoring 23 of their own. 

Over-all, Batang Gilas made use of its height advantage with 66 rebounds as compared to UAE's 23. It also had a 40-22 edge in points in the paint. 

The country will be tested in its final assignment as it faces fellow undefeated team China for solo leadership and group top seed on Tuesday night at Stadium 29 in Nonthaburi. 

Mohamed Mahmoud Asad Ahmed Alhashmi paced the 0-2 UAE with 18 points and three rebounds, while Hamid Abdullateef Abdulelah Abdullateef Albreiki had 11. 

The scores:

PHILIPPINES 92 – Edu 16, Sotto 14, Amsali 13, Torres 12, Panopio 7, Abadiano 6, Cortez 6, Lina 6, Ramirez 5, Oczon 3, Chiu 2, Ildefonso 2.

UAE 49 – Alhashmi 18, Albreiki 11, Hussein 8, Ablooshi 4, Abloushi 4, Almaeeni 4, S. Alhammadi 0, Alhosani 0, Alketbi 0, Alsawan 0.

Quarters: 29-14, 50-31, 69-41, 92-49.

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