Gilas Youth massacres Kuwait in FIBA U-16 Asian Championship

The Gilas Youth squad kicked off their FIBA U-16 campaign with a rousing win against Kuwait. (

By Leobert Julian A. de la Peña

The Gilas Youth national basketball team went off to the races and handed Kuwait a demolition exhibition, 82-45, in their opening game of the 2022 FIBA Under-16 Asian Championship.

It was a four-quarter offensive assault for the Gilas Youth squad after relying on their hot shooting and balanced scoring with four Filipinos contributing double-figures each in the scoring department.

Gilas immediately buckled to work and picked Kuwait apart with their crisp ball movement that netted them good looks.

Jared Bahay led the attack for the Gilas Youth as the savvy guard dropped seven early points in the first quarter and finished with 12 points, eight rebounds, six assists, and three steals.

Kuwait attempted to cut Gilas’ lead in the second period when their outside shots started to fall but another counter run by the young Filipino hoopers ballooned the lead again heading into the half.

It was all Gilas in the second half as the trio of Zain Mahmood, Jacob Bayla, and Kristian Porter joined hands to torch Kuwait and never let them cut the lead under 15 points.

The Gilas squad got a monster game for Mahmood who chipped in 16 big points, five rebounds, and two steals while the duo of Bayla and Porter finished with 10-points apiece.

Gilas Pilipinas men’s senior basketball team prospect Caelum Harris had an all-around game for the Youth team and finished with two points, five rebounds, three assists, three steals, and a block.

It was a strong kick-off game for Gilas as all players managed to score a point and were efficient from start to finish.

The young team is headed by chief tactician Josh Reyes who was also a former coaching staff of the Gilas seniors men’s basketball team during the past FIBA stints.