After banner year for Gilas Women, sustainability is the main concern | Inquirer Sports

After banner year for Gilas Women, sustainability is the main concern

/ 05:10 AM January 06, 2024

Members of the Gilas Pilipinas Women team during an open training with the men's team on Thursday.

Members of the Gilas Pilipinas Women team during an open training with the men’s team on Thursday. –MARLO CUETO/

The previous year saw Gilas Pilipinas Women closing the proverbial gap with its competitors, and Pat Aquino knows it would be a mortal sin to not build on those gains.

That is why the decorated coach is already hard at work scouring the other side of the globe for prospects while ensuring that the talent pipeline continues to be sound.


“We have a lot of exciting programs for the women’s side,” Aquino told the Inquirer in a message from Los Angeles. “We will be focusing on recruitment and getting new candidates for the Gilas pool.”


Last July, the Gilas Women notched their first-ever victory in Fiba (International Basketball Federation) Asia Cup’s top division after years and years of playing to just avoid relegation. The Girls squad turned in a milestone of their own a few weeks later, sweeping the U-16 showcase to gain passage into Division A.

READ: Gilas Women’s rise to world No. 37 a ‘testament to the program’

Gilas Pilipinas Women coach Pat Aquino

Gilas Pilipinas Women coach Pat Aquino.–MARLO CUETO/

Aquino said that both the Women’s and Girls’ teams are on pace to sustain whatever strides they made in 2023 with talents like University of Southern California’s Kayla Padilla, Westmont College’s Kristan Yumul, Florida State’s Amaya Bonner, Point Loma’s Kate Bobadilla and high school standouts Ava Fajardo, Gabby Ramos, Samantha Medina, Kai Oani, Naomi Panganiban, Ceecee Legaspi, Hannah Lopez, Kimi Sayson, Alyssia Palma and Sophia Canindo readily available.

Aquino also shared that cornerstone Jack Danielle Animam will soon be getting help.

“For our naturalized player, we are eyeing Favour Onoh of University of the Philippines and Josee Kaputu of Far Eastern,” he revealed.The calendar won’t get busy until August, so the program will have all the time it needs to plot and calibrate for the tournaments ahead.

“We will be preparing for a Fiba prequalifier this coming August. In between those months, we will try to prepare and participate in tournaments like the Jones Cup and Park Shin Ja Cup in Korea’s pro league,” Aquino said.

“We will also try to do training camps in Japan or Taiwan just to expose the girls and get them ready for the [big] tournaments like the (Southeast Asian Games) and Fiba Asia, which will be [a qualifier] for the World Cup in 2026,” he said.


The next Women’s World Cup will be held in Germany.

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TAGS: Gilas Pilipinas women, Pat Aquino

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