MANILA, Philippines – The Gilas Pilipinas Under-18 women’s team was all but written off early in the 2019 FIBA 3×3 U18 World Cup after suffering a record 20-point loss against third-ranked France.
That drubbing tied the largest losing margin in FIBA 3×3 history set by Samoa in the FIBA 3×3 Asia Cup, coincidentally at the hands of the Gilas Pilipinas women’s team.
Since then, however, the young squad composed of Camille Clarin, Ella Fajardo, Ann Pingol and Angelica Surada got their acts together and finished the group stage with 3 straight wins.
This included two straight buzzer-beating wins over sixth-ranked Netherlands, 10-9, and 19th-ranked Czech Republic, 15-14, capturing the admiration of the crowds in Ulaanbaatar, Mongolia.
However, the road to the title only gets harsher for the Filipina underdogs, as they are now set to face world No. 1 China in the knockout quarterfinals on Friday, June 7.
Will the strength of the world’s best finally catch up with the Gilas girls or will the magic live on for the country’s promising prospects?