Gilas Pilipinas Women salvage SEA Games 2023 silver
MANILA, Philippines–The Philippines came out of the gates hard to roll past Malaysia, 77-63, to salvage a silver medal on Monday in the 32nd Southeast Asian Games women’s basketball competition at Morodok Techo National Stadium in Phnom Penh.
Janine Pontejos shot the basketball with deadly accuracy early on to set the tone for Gilas Pilipinas women, which finished the showcase with a 5-1 record.
Pontejos finished with 24 points while Khate Castillo added 18 more in the effort. Camille Clarin had nine while Jack Animam tossed in six points and 13 rebounds as the Filipinos now turn their sights on the Fiba Women’s Asia Cup that will be held in Australia next month.
“Giving everything all the time and never giving up, that has been our rallying cry,” national coach Pat Aquino said after the contest.
“Unfortunately, we fell short of a gold (medal). But silver’s good enough for us,” he added.
The Philippines was shooting for a three-peat in this showcase before running into a loaded Indonesia side. Gilas suffered a 21-point humbling in that contest, which dealt a significant blow to their campaign.
Indonesia went on to sweep the tournament last Sunday with an 86-39 drubbing of Singapore, effectively knocking Gilas women off its throne.
Hui Pin Pang had 15 points, while Yin Yin Chong added 10 for Malaysia which settled for a bronze medal in a repeat of its finish in the previous edition of the SEA Games held in Vietnam.
The Philippines gained some measure of payback in the victory as it avenged its loss to Malaysia in that Hanoi meet. It was Gilas Pilipinas’ only loss during that showcase where it emerged as a two-time champion.
“That was a motivation,” Aquino said when asked about the two times Malaysia beat his charges. ” From the loss back in 2017 and the one in 2019.”
“As I was saying, we came here for our country, to represent our country well. We had to finish whatever we were doing here,” he added.
The men’s team is also going to be a vengeful lot at 6 p.m. tonight when it battles defending champion Indonesia in the knockout semifinal.
Gilas bowed to Timnas in the gold medal game of the last SEA Games, ending its 33-year rule in the competition.