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Gilas women: Higher goals set after victorious SEA Games

BY JONAS TERRADO

 

 

Gilas women celebrate after winning against Thailand in basketball finals during the SEA Games at Mall of Asia Arena in Pasay, December 10, 2019. (Rio Leonelle Deluvio / Canon 5D Mark IV with 16-35mm f2.8 lens)

Gilas Pilipinas women celebrate after winning against Thailand in SEA Games final at the Mall of Asia Arena.  (Rio Leonelle Deluvio / Canon 5D Mark IV with 16-35mm f2.8 lens)

The national women’s basketball team is now aiming for higher things after winning its first-ever gold in the Southeast Asian Games.

Coach Pat Aquino said there’s no reason for them to be satisfied after the team known as Gilas Pilipinas Women ruled the 30th edition of the biennial meet with a 91-71 rout of Thailand at the Mall of Asia Arena.

“We achieved the goals that we were supposed to do. Sana for me, we keep it growing. Let’s not just let this pass by,” said Aquino.

The Pinay cagers ended decades of frustration in the SEA Games by sweeping all three assignments with victories over Indonesia, 2015 and 2017 winner Malaysia and Thailand.

The first two games were not easy, with Gilas having to recover from squandering leads to beat the Indonesians 63-56 and Malaysians 81-75.

Against the Thais, the Pinays banked on main players Jack Animam and Afril Bernardino, who played the game of their lives.

Animam dominated the paint with 21 points on 9-of-10 shooting while Bernardino’s activity on both ends netter her 10 points, 14 rebounds, five assists and two blocks.

The win proved to be doubly sweet for Animam, who several weeks ago was forced to stay in New Zealand for several days after suffering an orbital fracture during the FIBA Pre-Olympic Qualifying Tournament.

The injury also forced Animam to miss National University’s successful run to its sixth straight UAAP women’s crown.

“Sabi ko sa sarili ko, kahit anong mangyari kailangan mag-gold kami kasi sobrang gustong-gusto ko na mag-celebrate kasi wala akong pwedeng pang-hawakan kasi wala naman ako nung NU e,” said Animam.

Janine Pontejos and Khate Castillo were also impressive as they combined for six triples while Chack Cabinbin, Ria Nabalan and Danica Jose did their share by playing quality minutes in the clincher.

Source: Manila Bulletin

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