After a 96-point drubbing of Laos in their first game, the Energen Pilipinas national youth team encountered much stiffer competition as they outlasted tournament hosts Singapore, 75-63, in the Southeast Asian Basketball Association Under-18 Championship.
The boys of coach Olsen Racela had to contend with a very game Singapore squad, led by 16-year-old Singapore Slingers player Delvin Goh. The hosts trailed by just five points at halftime, 35-30, as the Philippines struggled to put some distance between them and their opponents.
Singapore even managed to take a quarter, winning the third period, 22-20, to enter the fourth quarter down by just three.
But the Filipinos took control after that, handily winning the crucial fourth quarter to cruise to their second double-digit win.
Co-captain J-Jay Alejandro of National University led the Philippines with 13 points, including two three-pointers. Letran’s Rey Nambatac added 12 points while Kent Lao of UST scored 10. Big man Jay Javelosa of Reedley International finished with eight points and eight rebounds for the squad.
Goh led Singapore with 17 points, seven rebounds and five assists.
The Philippines again dominated the rebounding battle with a 44-29 edge on the boards behind the efforts of Javelosa as well as UE’s RR De Leon and EAC guard Jorem Morada, who each had six boards. They also turned in a solid performance defensively, holding Singapore down to 36% shooting from the field.
Energen Pilipinas will play Malaysia next before wrapping up their campaign against a formidable Indonesian squad on Saturday.
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