Gilas Women finish sixth with loss to South Korea in Fiba Asia Cup
MANILA, Philippines-The Philippines fell short yet again in the Fiba Women’s Asia Cup on Saturday, bowing to South Korea, 80-71, in a classification game to finish sixth in Australia.
Gilas Pilipinas played with steely nerves against the perennial contender, even enjoying the lead early in the contest at Sydney Olympic Park Sports Centre.
The Nationals fell behind by twin digits at the halftime break and managed to pull within 68-71 halfway through the final frame, only for their offense to conk out when it mattered the most.
Afril Bernardino led the way with 16 points and nine rebounds, while Khate Castillo and Jack Danielle Animam both finished with 12 each.
Jhaz Joson chipped in nine points for Gilas, which saw Duke standout and naturalized player Vanessa de Jesus figure in yet another frosty performance with five points built on a 2-for-13 shooting from the field.
Park Jihyun had 24 points to lead the Koreans. Three more turned in double-digit scores in the effort, including Asian Games champion Kim Danbi.
The close shave would’ve given Patrick Aquino and his program a slightly better finish, but a 6th place is already a feat in itself considering Gilas’ previous performances in the continental showcase.
The Philippines, since its promotion to Division A in 2015, has played in relegation games and always finished seventh in the Asia Cup.