Abadiano’s breakout not enough for Batang Gilas’ first win

Norman Lee Benjamin Riego on Jul 04, 2018 10:29 AM
Abadiano’s breakout not enough for Batang Gilas’ first win
Gerry Abadiano's breakout, following Kai Sotto and Carl Tamayo's big games, is nothing but a good sign for a Batang Gilas side hoping to topple world power Canada (Photo courtesy of FIBA)

For the first time in the 2018 FIBA Under-17 World Cup, Batang Gilas had a taste of the lead in the second half of a game.

Gerry Abadiano fronted the attack which, unfortunately, still fell short as the Filipinos succumbed to home team Argentina, 74-71, on Wednesday (Philippine time) at the Newell’s Old Boys.

Abadiano, starting for the first time in place of Forthsky Padrigao, steadied the ship for the Philippines in the face of the eighth-ranked Argentines’ strong start.

In the third quarter, the Nazareth School of National University stud then commandeered a 5-2 run that put his team ahead, 54-52.

That was the first taste of the lead in the second half of a game for Batang Gilas who lost by 22 to Croatia and then by 41 to France.

The advantage wouldn’t hold, however, as Juan Scachi and Gaston Bertona quickly countered for Argentina.

Still, the Filipinos had a shot in the dying moments, only down by three, but all of Terrence Fortea, Kai Sotto, and Abadiano muffed on their triple tries.

In the end, Abadiano had 17 points and two assists while fellow Bullpup Fortea had 17 markers and two dimes of his own.

After a subpar showing in the previous game, Sotto posted a 13-point, 15-rebound double-double in this one.

Despite dropping its third game in a row, the Philippines will advance into the next round where it will face Canada, ranked second in the world and unbeaten in the tournament, in knockout bout for a quarterfinals berth on Thursday (Philippine time).

For Argentina, Juan Francisco Fernandez topped the scoring column with 15 points.

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