FIBA: Gilas U18 girls pull away to beat Thailand in opener

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The Gilas Pilipinas U18 women’s national team banked on a strong fourth quarter closer to pull away and beat regional rival Thailand, 65-50 in the FIBA U18 Women’s Asian Championship 2022 Division B group phase on Monday at the Koramangala Indoor Stadium in Bengaluru, India.

The Philippines outscored the Thais, 22-12 in the final frame for the convincing opening win, with Kate Colyn Bobadilla’s 22 points and four steals leading the way. She shot 8-of-15 overall, and 3-of-6 from three-point range.

After Thailand cut the deficit down to just 41-43 early in the payoff period, the nationals responded with six unanswered points capped by a triple from Bobadilla to extend the margin up to 49-41.

Coach Patrick Aquino’s youngsters then locked their opponents down defensively, going on a 12-2 finishing run punctuated by Sumayah Sugapong’s three with just 1:12 remaining.

U16 holdover Kristan Yumul added 10 points and four boards, Sugapong finished with nine points and eight rebounds, while Louna Ozar and Camille Nolasco contributed eight markers each while combing for 18 caroms.

Gilas limited the Thais to a single field goal in the final five minutes of regulation in its opening victory.

The squad will face a familiar foe in Samoa tomorrow before rounding out the group stage against Maldives on Wednesday.

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