Kai Sotto finds his match as Australia overpowers Batang Gilas

Norman Lee Benjamin Riego on Apr 04, 2018 01:22 PM
Sotto finds his match as Australia overpowers Batang Gilas
Kai Sotto and Raven Cortez were no match for an Australian team with an average height of 6-4. (Photo courtesy of FIBA)

Kai Sotto has been used to towering above teammates and opponents alike, but he has never faced a team as collectively tall as Australia is in the 2018 FIBA Asia Under-16 Championship.

The Australians frustrated the 7-foot-1, 15-year-old and the rest of the Filipino frontline in a 30-point outclassing, 82-52, on Wednesday at the Foshan Lingnan Mingzhu Gym in China.

Jay Rentell topped the scoring column with 15 points, but it was 6-7 Kobe Williamson, 6-4 Luke Travers, and 6-6 Luke Jackson who did the heavy lifting in dominating the paint.

The three merged for 31 points and 22 rebounds all while stymying Philippine twin towers Sotto and Raven Cortez were both coming off strong showings against Malaysia last Monday.

In this one, Sotto was held to nine points in 1-of-10 shooting and four rebounds while Cortez was limited to two points and two rebounds.

The Australians also had their way inside and clearly claimed the departments of rebounding, 51-33, and points in the paint, 30-12.

Australia is the second tallest team in the tournament with an average height of 6-foot 4-inches. They have no player smaller than 6-feet.

With their bigs struggling, the Batang Gilas backcourt took charge as Mac Guadana and RC Calimag scored 11 and 10 points, respectively.

It wasn’t enough, however, and they will now have to go through a knockout bout with Hong Kong for a place in the quarterfinals. That game tips off at 1:00 PM (Manila time) on Thursday.

On the other hand, on the heels of routs of Malaysia and the Philippines, Australia has now secured a spot in the next round.

BOX SCORES

AUSTRALIA 82 — Rantall 15, Williamson 14, Travers 11, Capetola 9, Herbert 8, Wigness 8, Swaka 7, Jackson 6, Madden 2, Meakes 2, Tsapatolis 0.

PHILIPPINES 52 — Guadaña 11, Calimag 10, Sotto 9, Andrada 8, Padrigao 5, Fortea 4, Cortez 2, Lazaro 2, Chiu 1, Balaga 0, Bautista 0, Go 0.

QUARTER SCORES: 18-13, 38-25, 62-40, 82-52.

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