The Batang Gilas made known their intentions for international success, routing Kuwait by a massive 37 points, 82-45, at the start of the 2022 FIBA Under-16 Asian Championship on Tuesday at the Al-Gharafa Sports Club Multi-Purpose Hall in Doha.
Ateneo de Cebu standout Jared Bahay and Jacob Bayla set the tone early, combining for 12 points in the first to shove the Philippines ahead, 25-9, in the first canto. It was all Batang Gilas from that point onwards as their lead reached a high of 38 en route to getting the dominant victory.
Bahay, who hails from Mambaling, Cebu, put up an impressive statline of 12 points, six assists, and three steals. Despite being one of the smallest players on the floor, Bahay also pulled down the highest number of rebounds for his team with eight.
Zain Mahmoud led the Filipinos in scoring with 16 points, five rebounds, two steals, and one block, while Cebuano big man Kristian Porter added 10 points and five boards.
Bayla chipped in 10 points, two boards, and two steals.
The wards of head coach Josh Reyes were more than happy to share the ball, racking up 23 assists.
The Filipinos’ next game will be against Japan with the winner of that game earning a bye in the quarterfinals.