|Marko Pecarski led the way for the quarterfinal-bound Serbia. FIBA|
By Ivan Saldajeno
MANILA--Gilas Pilipinas Youth stumbled to its fourth straight loss in the FIBA U19 World Cup after Serbia took an 87-60 win in the first round of the playoffs at the Dyo Aorakia Arena in Heraklion, Greece early Thursday (Philippine Time).
However, Gilas Youth, seeded fourth in Group C after going winless in the group stages, seemed like it had a shot at stunning the world's number four Serbia, which topped Group D as it held its ground for most of the first quarter, even taking a 12-10 lead.
But a 9-2 run by Serbia to end the said period set the tone for the cruise control.
Marko Pecarski made 21 points, six rebounds, one assists, and one steal for Serbia, which will next face Lithuania, 91-74 winner over Australia in another playoff battle, in the quarterfinals.
Filip Petrusev added 17 points, eight rebounds, one assist, three steals, and one block, while Dalibor Ilic came up with a double-double of 13 points and 10 rebounds with six assists and one block.
Dave Ildefonso put up 18 points, three rebounds, two assists, and two blocks for Gilas Youth, but he committed seven of the team's 14 turnovers in the game.
Kai Sotto was relatively quiet, making 13 points, eight rebounds, three assists, and one block.
Gilas Youth was relegated to a qualification phase for ninth place with Australia being its next opponent on Friday.
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