The 2nd FIBA Asia U16 Championships is down to its final 4 teams. The first semifinal was an easy victroy by China over Japan. The last ticket to the FIBA U17 Championships is being fought over by the Philipines U16 and the Korea U16 teams. Here is a blow by blow of what transpired in the match.
Adven Jess Diputado scored the first points of the match to make it 2-0 for the Philippines. Kim Minki tied it for Korea. Michael Jay Javelosa and Kim Minki both scored to know the game at 4 a piece. 5-0 blast by the Philippines behind a 3 by Renzar Henry Asilum and a tweener by Rodolfo Alejandro III. Kim Gookchan made shot and in the next play Alejandro hit a another 3, 12-6 for PHL. Korea made a 10-4 run to tie the game at 16. Heo Hoon led the run.Rashleigh Paolo Rivero gave back to the Philippines the lead with a field goal 18-16. Kim Minki made 1 of 2 free throws then Kim Gookchan gave Korea its first lead after making a steal and a basket, score at 19-18. Alejandro makes a three to cap the scoring in the first period at 21-19.
Kim Nakhyeon started the scoring in the 2nd period. Score tied at 21. Kyles Jefferson Lao and Park Intae scored for PHL and Korea respectively to knot game at 23-all. They both scored again to make the score 25-all. 10-2 run by Korea 35-27. Heo Hoon once again at the forefront of the Korean attack. 2:21 left before the halftime break. Heo Hoon made a FTs giving Korea its first double digit lead at 37-27. Alejandro answered with 2 FTs to cut the lead to 8, 37-29. 2nd period ends. A 12-4 blitz by Korea to end the quarter. Korea outscored the Philippines in the second quarter 18-8. Top scorers: Heo Hoon with 14 and Rodolfo Alejandro III with 12 markers.
Asilum scored the first 2 points of the second half, 31-37. Rivero scored after an Asilum miss to cut the lead to 4, 33-37. Kim Nakhyeon made 2 freebies after an Alejandro foul, 39-33. He scored again 41-33. Asilum made a nice assist to Javelosa for an easy score 41-35. Heo Hoon answered with a deuce, 43-35. Heo Hoon again brought the lead to ten, 45-35. Asilum scored but Yun Yeongbin answerd, 47-37. Timeout is called. Still a 10 point lead by Korea. Lao turned it over after the timeout. Asilum for THREE! 47-40. Lee Woojung got back 2, 49-40. Rivero scored from a Javelosa pass 49-42. Alejandro entered with 5:07 left in the 3rd period. Javelosa got 2 points from FTs 49-44. Kim Gookhan replaced Yun. 5-0 swing by Korea behind the good defense of Kim Nakhyeon and three pointer of Heo. Another three by Korea 57-44. This time it was Kim Gookhan. Kim Nakhyeon assisted both three-pointers. Coach Olsen Racela forced to call a ceasefire. Janhubert Cani made 1 of 2 FTs 57-45. Javelosa fouled Park. Park missed both charities. Cani scored for the Philippines, 57-47. He scored again, assisted by Diputado 57-49. Kim Gookchan on the free throw line after a Ramos foul. He made one. Javelosa also had a split in the other end, 58-50. 32 seconds left. 3rd period ends 58-50. Both teams were even in the quarter. Both squad scored 21 points. Heo had 21 points after the first 3 periods.
Asilum opened the scoring in the final period, 58-52. Both teams seemed to be caught in the moment with both teams committing turnovers. Time out with 8:43 left. Cani scored on a putback, 58-54. Asilum drew a charge but Diputado travelled in the next play. 7 Minutes left. Diputado on the line after a steal. He made 2 gift shots. Lead down to 2, 58-56. Kim Gookchan made the first basket for Korea in the final period, 60-56. Asilum stole the ball gave it to Cani who passed it Ramos for the score, 60-58. Asilum fouled Heo. He made 1, 61-58. Kim Gookchan gave Korea some breathing room, 63-58. Asilum stole the ball. 4:48 left. Both teams played well defensively. Last 3 minutes! Philippines called a Time out with 3:17 left and down by 5. Kim Nakhyeon scored to bring the lead to 7, 65-58. Alejandro defended well by Gookchan. Excellent defense by Javelosa in the other end. 1:09 left. Philippines need some sort of a miracle to steal the game from Korea. Philippine could not buy a basket and were forced to foul. Last 30 seconds. The Philippines had their chances but could not convert. Gookchan scored to seal the deal 67-58. It was a very defensive 4th quarter and both teams had to bleed for their points. Kudos to both teams!
Korea will meet China in the Finals. Philippines and Racela lost to Korea once again. Hur Jae‘ son is doing a good impression of his dad. The good thing for the Philippines is that they will not taste a major blowout against a team like China who are like men playing against little boys. We do not know if only San Beda and La Salle allowed their players to play if the outcome would have been different. The Philippines still has a chance to improve their 4th place finish 2 years ago with a team bannered by Kiefer Ravena, Tolomia, Romero, and Teng. The Philippines will meet Group F second placer Japan in the bronze medal game.
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