Pontejos hopes to see more international exposure for PH women’s team
The Philippine women’s national team failed to win a single game in the Fiba 3×3 World Cup, but a winless slate did not dampen the spirits of one of its central figures.
Janine Pontejos captivated the basketball-watching public when she erupted for seven long balls in Perlas’ last two games in the group stage and she didn’t stop her shooting exploits in just the games alone.
The 5-foot-5 gunner was also named as the tournament’s best shooter in both the men’s and women’s division after taking the gold in the shooting competition.
And with the newfound awareness Perlas got after the Fiba 3×3 World Cup, Pontejos hopes the women’s national team would have more exposure in the future.
“I think we’ve shown them the talent of women basketball players from the Philippines,” said Pontejos in Filipino during their thanksgiving party Thursday at Holiday Inn.
“We’ve shown that we can’t just compete here in the Philippines but we can also go against the bigger countries and its better players.”
And Pontejos just found a viable supporter in her wishes for women’s basketball to go further.
Bounty Agroventures president Ronald Mascariñas, the parent company of Chooks to Go, promised to lend a helping hand for women’s basketball in the Philippines.
The Philippines is ranked no.47 in the Fiba women’s rankings and Mascariñas said that ranking could go higher with the right support.
“I think it’s very obvious that women’s basketball is largely neglected in the country and that showed in the Fiba 3×3 tournament where we had a competitive team but everything they achieved they did on their own,” said Mascariñas in Filipino. “We can do better if there’s support for women’s basketball, and we are willing to support the development of women’s basketball.”
Pontejos hoped that Perlas could play in more international tournaments not just in the 3-on-3 format but also in the 5-on-5 one especially that the team wasn’t elected to represent the Philippines in the Asian Games.
“Hopefully we’re given a chance to show our talents against other countries and I hope we have more opportunities to play,” said Pontejos. “I think what we did in the World Cup will lead to more opportunities for us.”
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