After securing a spot in next year’s FIBA U17 World Cup, Gilas Youth stumbled against world No. 4 Australia in the semifinal round of the 2023 FIBA U16 Asian Championships at the Al-Gharafa Sports Club Multi-Purpose Hall in Doha on Sunday.
The final score was ghastly: 92-36.
Kieffer Alas, the heart and soul of Gilas Youth, was never a factor in the clash with the taller, heftier and faster Crocs after the dribblers from Down Under dominated the shade area by grabbing 73 rebounds and scoring 62 in the paint.
Dash Daniels led the way for Australia with a double-double of 12 points and 11 rebounds while Sa Pilimai had 11.
At presstime, Alas and the rest of the Gilas boys were taking on mighty China for third place honors while Australia was battling fellow Oceania heavyweight New Zealand for the crown.
The last time they played against each other in the elimination round, China fashioned out an 84-67 win.
But the Filipino racked up four straight big wins after the Chinese massacre.
While Alas was held to just two points behind an atrocious one-of-seven shooting, Irus Chua and CJ Amos rose to the occasion and had six points apiece.
Another Gilas Youth key scorer, Joaquin Gabriel Ludovice, just made four.
If Gilas Youth gets back at China, it will mark the first time in a decade that the Philippines would return to the podium in FIBA U16 play.
Gilas Youth earned the trip to the Turkey world championships after downing Japan, 64-59.
On the way to the semis, Gilas Youth also posted rousing victories over Kazakhstan and Malaysia but it was their 95-71 triumph over South Korea that made the team the toast of the town.