MANILA, Philippines - The Philippines survived India’s torrid three-point shooting as it hacked out a 78-67 victory to clinch the top seeding in Group F and arrange a quarterfinal showdown with fancied Iran in the third FIBA-Asia Under-16 Championship in Tehran, Iran yesterday.
Hope Christian School’s Jolo Go exploded with a game-high 26 points, highlighted by six triples, as the Nationals forged a three-way tie with Japan and Chinese Taipei on 4-1 (win-loss) record. The Phl emerged the top team after the tiebreak.
While Go hit six treys, the Indians unloaded 12 but the Filipinos clamped down on defense to force 21 turnovers and frustrate their rivals. Kazakhstan eventually bumped off India for the last spot in the quarters, also via tiebreak.
Ateneo’s Mike Nieto scored 16 points and hauled down eight rebounds, keeping an impressive 17-point, 13-rebound norm in the tournament.
Iran, coming off a 50-70 blowout loss to Bahrain last Monday, edged Syria to clinch the last spot in the playoff stage.
The Filipinos are out to get back at the Iranians, who beat them, 83-73, in overtime in the bronze medal match in the meet’s inaugurals four years ago in Malaysia. Gametime is at 10 p.m. (Phl time) tomorrow.
The Phl lost to Chinese Taipei, 90-95, last Friday but walloped Japan, 94-76, Sunday.
Along the way, the Filipinos dumped the Jordanians, 73-60, Saturday and edged the Kazkhs, 90-88, Thursday.