Gilas Women

Gilas Women woes continue in FIBA Asia Cup after 64-point Australia blowout

JR Isaga
Gilas Women woes continue in FIBA Asia Cup after 64-point Australia blowout

STRUGGLE. Ella Fajardo and the Gilas Women fall to a rough start against Australia.


‘It’s really tough,’ says Gilas Women coach Pat Aquino, noting the Filipinas’ disadvantage in height and experience after lopsided losses to China and Australia

Gilas Pilipinas Women once again faded away early in their second 2021 FIBA Women’s Asia Cup game as Australia delivered a 64-point pummeling, 120-56, in Amman, Jordan on Tuesday, September 28 (Wednesday, September 29, Manila time).

With another lopsided loss, albeit way better than China’s 91-point annihilation, Gilas is still winless in Group B, and will need to upset Chinese Taipei on Thursday, September 30, 12 am, Manila time, to avoid a relegation match against Group A’s worst team.

Lauren Nicholson and Keely Froling led the Aussie charge with 21 points apiece, while WNBA player Sami Whitcomb flirted with a triple-double off 8 markers, 7 rebounds, and 7 assists in just 15 minutes of action.

Although Gilas Women banked on their triples early on, and got as close as 10, 20-30, late in the first quarter, a 17-0 response through the second frame by the Aussies catapulted the gap to 27 points, 47-20, and only got worse from there.

Once again, a noticeable advantage in height and experience against the Filipinas proved the difference as the Aussies ultimately set their biggest lead at 64 with the final score. They also out-rebounded Gilas by 42, 67-25, and out-assisted them by 17, 27-10.

“It’s really tough. It’s a tough group we’re in, and I think being the smallest among the group, and having a game with those more experienced players, we tried to get there,” said Gilas Women head coach Pat Aquino in the postgame presser.

“We’d like to move on, adjust, and probably just compete. That’s the main purpose here, compete. I think with those two tough games that we’ve had, we’ll have another day of competing.”

Pinay sniper Janine Pontejos put up an admirable fight as she led the losing cause with 13 points built off 3-of-9 shooting from three, while Kristine Cayabyab added 10 markers off the bench in just 13 minutes.

Afril Bernardino, who led the way against China with an all-around 17-point game, was held to just 8 markers against Australia as she fought through a lingering sprained ankle.

The Scores

Australia 120 – Nicholson 21, Froling 18, Garbin 12, Sharp 12, Scherf 12, Shelley 10, Melbourne 9, Whitcomb 8, Mangakahia 7, Aokuso 4, Wehrung 4, Wallace 3.

Gilas Pilipinas Women 56 – Pontejos 13, Cayabyab 10, Bernardino 8, Nabalan 8, Castillo 6, Clarin 6, Castro 3, Cabinbin 2, Tongco 0, Fajardo 0, Prado 0.

Quarters: 32-20, 64-33, 91-46, 120-56.