Gilas Women stay in Fiba Asia Cup Division A after trouncing Chinese Taipei
MANILA, Philippines—The Gilas Pilipinas women’s team stayed alive in the 2023 Fiba Asia Cup after defeating Chinese Taipei, 92-81, on Wednesday.
The victory also kept the team’s spot in Fiba Women’s Asia Division A for 2025.
The Pat Aquino-coached squad bounced back in the regional meet after absorbing consecutive routs at the hands of Australia and Japan, respectively.
“It’s out first time win for the pool play. We’re just so happy. It was time to [show] that we belong in the Fiba Asia Cup. Hopefully, this is not the last. We hope to continue winning,” said Aquino.
After their victory at Sydney Olympic Park Sports Centre, Gilas Women will compete for a semifinal spot in the tournament.
Vanessa de Jesus popped off to give Gilas Pilipinas 🇵🇭 a chance to compete for a slot at the #AsiaCupWomen Semi-Finals 🔥
📊 25 pts (11/19 FGs) | 4 asts | 2 stls | 24 EFF pic.twitter.com/LdJvBApUe7
— FIBA Women's Asia Cup (@fibasiacupwomen) June 28, 2023
Duke standout Vanessa De Jesus, who has been impressive in her debut with the Philippines in the tournament, lead the Philippines to victory anew with a stellar 25-point outing.
National University products Jack Animam put up 16 points and 15 rebounds and Afril Bernardino had 18 markers and 10 boards to power the Philippines to the all-important victory.
“I’m just so happy. Even with a minute and 18 seconds left, I was already ready to cry. This game means so much to everybody, especially to myself. Coming back from an ACL injury, this is my redemption year,” a teary-eyed Animam said during the post-game press conference.
This was also the squad’s first win in a Fiba Asia Cup group stage since 2015.