Gilas Women fall to Japan in Fiba Asia Cup
MANILA, Philippines-Gilas Pilipinas played better in the Fiba Women’s Asia Cup on Tuesday, but its finer performance was simply not enough to take down six-time winner Japan.
Gilas Women bowed to Akatsuki, 95-57, at Sydney Olympic Parks Sports Centre to absorb a second straight beating after finding itself on the nasty end of a 71-point whipping at the hands of the hosts the night before.
Vanessa de Jesus led the way once again, putting up 12 points that went with four assists. Afril Bernardino scored just as much while plucking down eight rebounds.
Jack Animam, who was held scoreless in that tough loss versus the Opals, had eight points and seven assists and was just as active on defense with two blocks and two steals.
Himawari Akaho had 16 points while Mai Yamamoto chipped in 15 more for Japan, who are shooting for a sixth-consecutive championship in the continental showcase.
Saki Hayashi and Aika Hirashita both finished in twin digits as Olympic silver winners Maki Takada and Nanako Todo took a step back and watched their younger teammates help the squad to their second straight victory in the tournament.
The Philippines will try to wrap up its Group B campaign with a victory Wednesday against Chinese-Taipei in a match set 11:30 a.m. (Manila time).
A victory in that contest, should the Taiwanese also lose to the Aussies later tonight, will guarantee Gilas passage into the next round.
Aside from crowning a continental champion, the Women’s Asia Cup will also send four nations into the Olympic Qualifying Tournaments for the Summer Olympic Games in Paris, France, next year.