FIBA U19: Gilas eliminated by powerhouse Serbia in knockout stage

By Kevin Sox

Gilas Pilipinas Youth fell flat in its knockout game of the 2019 FIBA U19 World Cup in Greece on Wednesday night, suffering an 87-60 blowout to one of the top-ranked teams in Serbia in the Round of 16.

It was lowest scoring output for the Philippines in their 4 games, as they continue to be empty-handed while losing with an average margin of 19 a game.

The nationals scored only 14 points in each of the 1st 3 quarters, yielding a double-digit deficit to the taller, stronger, and better-shooting Serbians who are ranked 4th in the FIBA world boys basketball rankings.

Marko Pecarski led the European giants with 21 points. Filip Petrusev chipped in 17 markers on 7/8 shooting while Dalibor Ilic provided 13 more points.

Dave Ildefonso once again paced the Philippines with 18 points while Kai Sotto added 13 points and 8 boards.

The Serbians out-rebounded the Filipinos, 49-26 and also showed better cohesion, assisting on their field goals 33 times. Gilas, on the other hand, only finished with 11 assists against 14 turnovers.

Serbia also shot significantly better at 47.3%. For the 2nd game in a row, the Philippines shot below the 40’s mark at 38.5% as they ended their campaign.

The nationals played with virtually only 11 players in their 4-game stretch so far, as big man AJ Edu suffered an apparent ACL tear right in the opening minutes of their first game against Greece.

Sotto, Ildefonso, and Gerry Abadiano carried most of the load for Gilas throughout the tournament.