Serbia knocks Gilas Youth out of U19 World Cup contention

Winless in 4 outings, the Philippines gets relegated to the classification round

JR Isaga

Published: 1:15 AM July 4, 2019

Updated: 1:15 AM July 4, 2019

MAJOR CHALLENGE. Kai Sotto and Gilas Pilipinas Youth find Serbia tough on both ends. Photo from FIBA

MANILA, Philippines – Serbia proved why it's the world’s No. 4 U19 team as it blew Gilas Pilipinas Youth out of contention, 87-60, in the 2019 FIBA U19 World Cup in Heraklion, Greece on Wednesday July 3 (Thursday, July 4, Philippine time).

Dave Ildefonso led Gilas Youth anew with 18 points on a 7-of-12 shooting, albeit with 7 turnovers. Kai Sotto added 13 markers, 8 rebounds and 3 assists while Gerry Abadiano posted 12 points and 2 dimes. 

With the loss, Gilas Youth is now relegated to the classification stages, where it will next face Australia on Friday, July 5, 9:30 pm, Philippine time.

The country’s best young basketball stars were initially able to go toe-to-toe against the imposing Serbians as they only trailed by 5, 14-19, after the 1st quarter. 

However, the experience gap materialized in the 2nd period as Serbia launched a massive 17-1 run ending with a Pavle Kuzmanovic layup to put Gilas out of reach, 39-19. The Filipino youngsters responded with a 7-0 attack capped off by an Ildefonso three, but it was not enough as they went down, 28-43, at the half. 

Gilas Youth got as close as 12 in the 3rd frame, but Marko Pecarski eventually doused that fire with 8 straight points to end the quarter up 22 for Serbia, 64-42. 

From there, the Serbians never let go of their chokehold on the lead as they booked an easy trip to the quarterfinals. 

Pecarski spearheaded the 2nd half Serbian beatdown with 21 points and 6 rebounds. Filip Petrusev, meanwhile, took care of things in the first two quarters and finished with 17 markers in as many minutes on the floor. 

Serbia moves on to a titanic showdown with third-ranked Lithuania in the quarterfinals.

 The Scores 

Serbia 87 – Pecarski 21, Petrusev 17, Ilic 13, Trifunovic 9, Paunovic 8, Vasiljevic 8,  Ćubić 4, Mićović 3, Grbović 2, Kuzmanović 2, Cerovina 0, Islamovic 0. 

Gilas Pilipinas Youth 60 – Ildefonso 18, Sotto 13, Abadiano 12, Tamayo 7, Chiu 5, Fortea 3, Panopio 2, Oczon 0, Torres 0, Amsali 0, Spencer 0.

Quarters: 19-14, 43-28, 64-42, 87-60.