Asian Games

Gilas Women secure last 8 berth even after loss to Japan

Philip Matel

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Gilas Women secure last 8 berth even after loss to Japan

VETERAN. Philippine team star Jack Animam in action against Japan in the 2023 FIBA Women’s Asia Cup.


Even after absorbing their first loss to Japan, the Gilas Women head to the quarterfinals along with the Asian powerhouse

MANILA, Philippines — Gilas Pilipinas Women ended pool play in the 19th Asian Games on a bittersweet note, yielding to continental powerhouse Japan, 96-59, on Sunday, October 1, in Hangzhou, China.

Despite the loss, the Filipinas advanced to the quarterfinals with a 2-1 record along with Japan (3-0) after emerging as the top two performers in Group B.

Hong Kong (1-2) and Kazakhstan (0-3) bowed out as only the top two teams in each of the four groups secured berths in the last eight. 

Japan had a great start, zooming to a quick 11-0 spurt against Gilas Women and never looked back.

The Philippines also suffered a tough blow when national team veteran Afril Bernardino suffered a leg injury at the 4:55 mark of the second quarter and had to be carried off the court, with the Philippines trailing, 23-40.

Bernardino did not return, with the skipper ending the contest with 2 points, 4 rebounds, and 2 assists.

Gilas Women trailed by as many as 39 points, 96-57, with 33 seconds left, after an inside stab by Azusa Asahina.

The Japanese offense was on-point from the interior, shooting 22/36 for a 61% clip.

Janine Pontejos was the Philippines’ lone double-digit scorer with 13 points, while Jack Animam contributed 9 points and 7 rebounds.

Aika Hirashita fired a game-high 26 points, while Saki Hayashi chipped in 17 for the Japanese.

The knockout quarterfinal round starts on Monday, October 2. 

The Scores

Japan 96 – Hirashita 26, Hayashi 17, Akaho 12, Hoshi 10, Todo 8, Motohashi 7, Miyazaki 5, Okoye 4, Takada 3, Asahina 2, Yabu 2, Kawai 0.

Philippines 59 – Pontejos 13, Animam 9, Cabinbin 9, Castillo 8, Del Carmen 6, Ozar 5, Cacho 4, Tongco 3, Bernardino 2, Berberabe 0, Guytingco 0, Nolasco 0.

Quarters: 35-14, 50-26, 66-39, 96-59. 


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