FIBA World U-17: Batang Gilas drops opener to taller Angola
The game marked the Philippines' return to the world basketball stage, after the Batang Gilas Pilipinas squad qualified with a silver medal run in last year's FIBA Asia Under-16 Championship.
The African squad took control against Batang Gilas in the first half, using their size to take a 41-32 lead.
The Angolans kept the Filipinos at bay the rest of the way, scoring key baskets everytime Batang Gilas threatened an uprising.
The Philippines tried to muster one last rally, coming to within seven points, 66-59, on a three-pointer by Jose Go IV with 6:15 remaining.
But Angola replied with six straight points to push their lead to 13, 72-59, and keep the game out of reach.
Angola's height advantage was most apparent on the boards as it won the rebounding battle, 70-46.
The smaller Filipinos were reduced to long bombs from the outside, but shot just 5-of-35 (14 percent) from three-point distance.
Joao Jungo, an athletic 6-foot-6 forward, led Angola with 26 points, 11 rebounds, and three blocks.
Sharpshooter Jolo Mendoza led the Philippines with 16 points.
Batang Gilas will have little time to lick their wounds, as they will face Greece on Saturday and the United States on Sunday to complete their preliminary round assignment. — JST, GMA News