Kai Sotto has 28-21, RC Calimag saves day for semis-bound Batang Gilas

Norman Lee Benjamin Riego on Apr 06, 2018 05:04 PM
Kai Sotto has 28-21, RC Calimag saves day for Batang Gilas
RC Calimag won the game for Batang Gilas up against Japan (Photo courtesy of FIBA)

Kai Sotto was brilliant all game long for Batang Gilas on Friday at the Foshan Lingnan Mingzhu Gym in China.

However, it was RC Calimag who shot the Philippines to the semifinals of the 2018 FIBA Asia Under-16 Championship.

Calimag’s short stab with 2.3 ticks to go quelled the uprising of Japan and registered a well-earned 72-70 win for the Filipinos that sends them to the Final Four of the regional meet.

Batang Gilas’ 7-foot-1, 15-year-old was unstoppable and turned in his best game in international play with a monster 28-point, 21-rebound double-double to go along with three blocks and three assists.

It was also by his efforts that they went on a 25-8 tear for a 57-44 lead in the third quarter.

The Japanese would not give up, however, as Tanaka Chikara’s personal 8-1 run tied the tally at 70-all with 26.4 seconds remaining.

Off a timeout, the Filipinos gave the ball to Calimag who put his head down and sliced through the lane. Met by three defenders, he still found some space for a short stab that kissed the glass before falling to the bottom of the net.

Tanaka still had some time to get a shot off, but his corner jumper rolled around the ring before falling out.

Calimag wound up with 15 points, including the game-winner that puts the Philippines in a semis showdown up against either China or Lebanon on Saturday afternoon.

Tanaka top-scored for Japan with 17 points.

BOX SCORES

PHILIPPINES 72 – Sotto 28, Calimag 15, Cortez 8, Fortea 6, Guadana 4, Padrigao 4, Andrada 4, Bautista 3, Lazaro 0, Go 0

JAPAN 70 – Tanaka 17, Yuki 14, Mitani 12, Tominaga 12, Yamazaki 6, Nakamura 5, Yokochi 2, Kawamura 2, Iwasaki 0, Ehara 0

QUARTER SCORES: 15-17, 32-34, 57-46, 72-70

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