Gilas boys continue majestic outing after clinching FIBA U-16 Asian Championships seat

Congratulations on a job well done, young Gilas boys! (SMART Sports photo via

By Leobert Julian A. de la Peña

The Gilas Pilipinas boys national squad sustained its fine form in the ongoing international SEABA meet after punching a ticket to the FIBA Under-16 Asian Championships to be held in Doha, Qatar from September 17-24, 2023.

After a demolition exhibition on the Malaysian national team a couple of days ago, the Gilas boys showed they got enough gas left in the tank after crushing Thailand, 85-49, last July 18, 2023, held at GOR Kertajaya in Surabaya, Indonesia.

Their 2-0 start was enough to put themselves in the qualification card for the FIBA Asian Championships, their main goal since arriving in Indonesia several days ago.

Kieffer Alas was a man on a mission for the young Gilas hoopers after earning his second-straight Best Player of the Game honors when he dropped 18 points against the Thais.

Alas was on fire once again and shot 6/11 from the field with a chunk coming from their fiery second-quarter rally.

Aside from his offensive consistency, Alas also capped off his convincing performance with an all-around outing of eight rebounds, five assists, and three steals.

Alas was on the forefront of Gilas’ quick first-quarter burst, helping the PHL national team take an 18-7 advantage that eventually swelled to 15 points, 39-24, after halftime.

Despite several defensive adjustments from the Thais when they guarded Gilas’ three-point territory better in the second half, Alas and the rest of the young cagers found ways to score and abused their opponents’ shaded lane.

Gilas’ point guard Kurt Velasquez also showed up for the national team after contributing 12 points while Joaquin Ludovice added 10 markers in the blowout win.

Irus Chua, one of the standouts during their victory against Malaysia, continued to pile up the points and tallied eight built from a big three-point bomb and several layups.