Gilas boys kick off FIBA U-16-SEABA on a high note after crushing Malaysia

Congratulations Gilas boys! (SBP photo)

By Leobert Julian A. de la Peña

The Gilas Pilipinas boys’ national team just began its FIBA Under-16 Asian Championship-SEABA Qualifiers with a convincing victory over Malaysia, 94-52, last July 17, 2023, held at the GOR Kertajaya in Surabaya, Indonesia.

It was a debut to remember for the young Filipino hoopers after executing most of their sets to perfection despite playing in unfamiliar territory in Surabaya.

Kieffer Alas, one of the brightest prospects in the national team program, led the way for the Gilas boys after torching Malaysia with a game-high 27-point performance.

After stroking his first shot in the elbow, Alas quickly went unconscious and poured in 22 of his 27 points in the first half.

That personal scoring frenzy by Alas then helped Gilas separate themselves from Malaysia while building a comfortable double-digit lead heading into the second half.

Gilas didn’t relax despite having a huge lead and continued to impose their will on the Malaysians with their efficient perimeter shooting and dominant paint scores.

Although Alas only scored five in the last two quarters, his teammates stepped up and showed their offensive bag to sustain their firepower.

CJ Amos backstopped Alas with 16 markers built from an efficient 5/6 shooting from the field and several drained free throws.

Irus Chua also balled out in his SEABA Qualifiers debut, matching Amos’ scoring production while grabbing eight big rebounds.