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MANILA, Philippines – Janine Pontejos and Khate Castillo shot the lights out from deep as Gilas Women marked their Asian Games debut with a resounding 83-59 romp of Kazakhstan in Hangzhou, China on Wednesday, September 27.
The two veteran sharpshooters combined for 12 three-pointers on a sizzling 52% clip to lead the Filipinas to a promising start in Group B.
Pontejos chalked up a game-high 21 points on a 7-of-13 shooting from beyond the arc, while Castillo drained 5 of her 10 three-point attempts to finish with 15 points.
The rest of the squad also shone, with the likes of Chack Cabinbin and Stefanie Berberabe keying the Philippines’ second-quarter breakaway.
Kazakhstan trailed by just a whisker midway through the second period, 26-27, before the Filipinas ended the frame with a 13-0 blast powered by 5 points from Cabinbin and 4 points from Berberabe.
Gilas Women saw their lead swell to as big as 28 points, 79-51, off a Pontejos long bomb with 2:45 minutes left in the fourth quarter.
Jack Animam put up 12 points, 14 rebounds, and 3 steals, while Afril Bernardino posted 11 points, 5 assists, and 2 steals in the rout.
Berberabe added 8 points, 6 assists, and 3 steals, Cabinbin had 7 points, 7 rebounds, and 4 assists, while Andrea Tongco tallied 6 steals in a stellar defensive effort that saw the Filipinas force the Kazakhs to 23 turnovers.
Tamara Kuzmina and Anna Bezgodova scored 12 points apiece to pace Kazakhstan.
Up next for Gilas Women is Hong Kong on Friday, September 29, at the Shaoxing Olympic Sports Centre Gymnasium.
Philippines 83 – Pontejos 21, Castillo 15, Animam 12, Bernardino 11, Berberabe 8, Cabinbin 7, Del Carmen 3, Tongco 2, Cacho 2, Ozar 2, Nolasco 0, Guytingco 0.
Kazakhstan 59 – Kuzmina 12, Bezgodova 12, Koroleva 11, Gavrilyuk 8, Bagmet 6, Ilyassova 4, Alishauska 3, Nurbayeva 3, Umerova 0, Astapenko 0, Yakovleva 0, Gammer 0.
Quarters: 17-17, 40-26, 60-41, 83-59.