Gilas Women dealt with first loss in Asian Games by Japan
MANILA, Philippines–Gilas Pilipinas suffered its first loss in the 19th Asian Games women’s basketball tournament, running into a well-oiled Japan side, 96-59, on Sunday night.
Saddled by an error-filled first quarter, Gilas hardly stood a chance against pretty much the same Akatsuki Five that finished 2nd in the Women’s Asia Cup in Sydney, Australia, earlier this year.
The Nationals were also unable to come up with a response to the Japanese’ early torrid shooting that gave them a massive 35-14 cushion in the first period which eventually proved handy as the game at Hangzhou Olympic Centre Gymnasium plodded along.
Janine Pontejos had 13 points while Chack Cabinbin and Jack Danielle Animam finished with nine each in the effort that had Gilas dropping to 2-1 in Group B.
Japan used its cohesion to the hilt, accounting for 33 assists while hitting 14 triples for a perfect 3-0 finish in the same group.
Gilas kept it close in the second quarter, scoring 12 against the Akatsuki’s 15. But with a gap so big and Afril Bernardino tweaking her left leg, Pat Aquino and the rest of the Nationals opted to use the game to prepare for the quarterfinals.
With the two blowouts of Kazakhstan and Hong Kong, the Philippines is pretty much assured of a spot in the final eight.
Gilas plunges back into action on Monday against a yet-to-be-determined opponent.