Cagayan de Oro native Roldan Sara hit a 3-pointer to start the Philippines’ breakaway in the final period and played hustling defense as the Philippines showed their flair in offense in the crucial junctures, and posted a 76-50 win against the much taller Kazakhstan in Group B in the FIBA Asia U16 Championship in Johor Bahru, Malaysia.

Kiefer Ravena, the hero of the Filipino overtime win against Japan on the opening day, led the Filipinos with 24 points to go with four steals and three assists.

The 5’9 Sara, now playing out of San Beda, finished with 6 points, 2 rebounds, 2 assists and 3 steals in an all-around game. He teamed with Von Pessumal and Michael Anthony Pate for the fourth quarter juggernaut the Philippines outscored Kazakhstan, 27-13.

Kazakhstan, on the other hand, struggled to retain the momentum of their opening day win over Bahrain.

Alexander Zhigulin came into his own only in the third quarter, scoring seven of his 11 points only after the teams had swapped ends. But that return to form was shortlived as he drew a blank in the final ten minutes and thus ended any hopes of a Kazakh revival.

Alexey Karochka continued his good work, but that proved inadequate against a Filipino outfit that grew in strength as well as scoring as the game progressed.

The scores:

Philippines 76 – Ravena 24, Pessumal 11, Pate 9, Romero 8, Sara 6, Ferrer 4, Teng 3, Alolino 3, Bantayan 1, Tolomia 0, Javillonar 0.

Kazakhstan 50 – Kurochka 16, Zhigulin 11, Orazov 9, Raguyev 5, Morozov 4, Maxutov 3, Marchuk 2, Kaliullin 0, Remkhen 0, Chsherbak 0.

Quarterscores: 16-14, 35-24, 49-37, 76-50

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