After Asian Games, Pat Aquino looking at Worlds for Gilas belles | Inquirer Sports

After Asian Games, Pat Aquino looking at Worlds for Gilas belles

/ 05:20 AM October 05, 2023

Gilas Pilipinas Women in the 19th Asian Games.

Gilas Pilipinas Women in the 19th Asian Games.

The Gilas Pilipinas women saw action in their first Asian Games (Asiad) in 25 years, reaching the quarterfinals like they had targeted to do.

The Philippines ended its campaign with a 2-2 record to finish fifth in a field of 12 nations—a decent run for a program that had just earned a fresh invite to the continental showcase after sterling stints in various tournaments the past two years.


But coach and Gilas women’s program director Pat Aquino wants his charges to accomplish more that he is not about to rest just yet.


“After this, I’m leaving for the United States,” he told the Inquirer. “I plan on going to places where we can find another big girl and perhaps another naturalized player.”

There has been a lot of talk about the men’s team, and all Aquino wants is for this cage-crazed nation to be proud of its national cagebelles, too.

“I hope the women’s program can also give its fans the impression that they have the right to expectations, and that we are also trying to do something [for this program].”

Team cornerstone

Gilas has Jack Danielle Animam, a 25-year-old center who stands 6-foot-4, as its cornerstone, with Aquino building a team around her to include a naturalized player. Vanessa de Jesus is one that’s readily available for future tournaments.

Hiking the team’s options for big players and naturalized players won’t only come in handy as Gilas builds on the milestones of the past months, which include this Asian Games bid and the promotion to the Fiba (International Basketball Federation) Asia’s topflight division.

It’s only logical that they strive to do more. And Aquino is looking at a truly great feat.


“We now have to talk about the road to the World Cup,” Aquino said when asked about the program’s new goal.

“With [all these milestones], the continued support of people, and San Miguel Corp. coming in [to the aid of the country’s basketball programs], we hope to continue and become a better team every time we leave [for competitions].”

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TAGS: Asian Games, Gilas Pilipinas women, Pat Aquino

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