Kai Sotto drilled in 22 points and hauled 10 rebounds as Batang Gilas crushed New Zealand, 73-51, and registered its best-ever finish in the FIBA Under-17 Basketball World Cup, Sunday in Santa Fe, Argentina (Monday in Manila).
Sotto was supported by Terrence Fortea, who had 12 markers, while Gerry Abadiano, RC Calimag, and Geoffrey Chiu chipped in eight points each for the Michael Oliver-coached Batang Gilas, which finished in 13th place in the 16-team tournament.
Oliver was the assistant coach to Jamike Jarin during the previous World Cup, where the team finished 15th.
The 7'1” Sotto joined hands with Lyceum Junior Pirates standout Mclaude Guadana for a big scoring run that allowed Batang Gilas to take charge at halftime, 34-25.
Meanwhile, Team USA ruled the FIBA Under-17 Basketball World Cup for the fifth straight time, crushing France, 95-52, in the gold-medal game.
According to the FIBA website, the United States extended its winning streak to 37 games, dating back to the inaugural event in 2010.