Ulanbaatar, Mongolia – Cebuano Jerie Marlon Pingoy conspired with U16 Youth Squad holdover and captain Rodolfo “J-Jay” Alejandro in handing a strong Chinese-Taipei squad their first defeat in the 22nd FIBA Asia U18 Championships. The two rising stars of Philippine basketball combined for 47 markers to lead the Energen Pilipinas U18 Youth Squad to its second straight win in the second phase of the group stages of the 22nd FIBA Asia Under 18 Championships.
The Philippines controlled the first half. They led at the end of the first period at 17-14. They continued their steady onslaught in the 2nd period to have a 9-point cushion at the end of two quarters, 43-34. The third period, however, was controlled by Chinese-Taipei as they were able to outscore the wards of coach Olsen Racela, 30-20, to grab a one point lead going to the final period. The fourth period was a virtual see-saw battle and with the Philippines leading 83-82 with over a minute left, Jerie Pingoy completed a clutch 3-point play to extend the lead to 4, 86-82. After a split by Lee Chua-ji, Taipei was forced to foul Alejandro who cooly sank his pressure packed free throws for the final count at 88-83.
It was a big win for the Philippines as they could clinch the 2nd seed in Group F if they win their next assignment against Bahrain. Taipei could try to complicate matters in the group as they will try to give powerhouse Iran its first loss in the tournament in their next assignment.
Jerie Pingoy top scored for Energen Pilipinas with 25 points. The reigning UAAP Junior’s MVP also had 2 rebound, 5 assists, and 1 steal while making 11 of his 15 2-point attempts. Alejandro had 22 points, 9 rebounds, and 3 triples. Rey Nambatac had 10 points with 4 steals. Chinese Taipei was led by Lin Kuan-chun’s 25.
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