Kate Bobadilla impressed in her debut as Gilas Pilipinas U18 girls team pulled away in the final frame to shake off a gritty Thailand side, 65-50, and open its 2022 FIBA U18 Asian Championship on high note at the Koramangala Indoor Stadium in Bangalore, India on Monday, Sept. 5.

Kate Bobadilla (FIBA Photo)

Bobadilla, who shone for the Filipinas with 22 points, four steals and two rebounds, joined hands with Camille Nolasco and Kristan Yumul to power a 10-2 spurt early in the fourth period that built a double-digit spread which Gilas never relinquished until the final buzzer.

Nolasco triggered the telling run with a huge and-1 play to give Filipinas a five-point cushion, 46-41, before Bobadilla nailed a booming triple. Lalita Chipcharoenrat answered back for the Thais with a pair of free throws but Gilas retaliated with back-to-back layups from Sumayah Sugapong and Yumul that capped the run for a 53-43 lead with 6:27 to go.

Thailand tried to make a comeback but consecutive stops from the Filipinas and a couple more baskets from Bobadillla, Sugapong and Yumul took the fight out of their opponents.

Bobadilla nailed three triples while Yumul also added 10 points. Sugapong and Nolasco had nine and eight points across their names while Louna Ozar finished with eight and 11 boards.

Laksamee Hewchaiyaphum paced Thailand with 10 points.

The Filipinas actually went off to a good start after taking a 12-2 lead in the opening frame although slowly lost momentum towards the end allowing the Thais to get their bearings going and cut the lead down to four, 16-12, at the end of the first canto.

Gilas tried to pull away in the middle quarters but its rallies were met with vicious counter attacks from the Thais who managed to come within one, 35-34, late in the third frame. That, however, was the closest Thai could come as Gilas went on a scoring spree in the final canto with 22 fourth quarter points against Thailand’s only 12.

Source: Manila Bulletin (https://mb.com.ph/2022/09/05/bobadilla-shines-as-gilas-girls-downs-thailand-in-fiba-opener/?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=bobadilla-shines-as-gilas-girls-downs-thailand-in-fiba-opener)