Gilas Women

Gilas Women suffer 91-point mauling from China in FIBA Asia Cup opener

Delfin Dioquino
Gilas Women suffer 91-point mauling from China in FIBA Asia Cup opener

DOMINANT. China gains massive momentum in its FIBA Women's Asia Cup bid with a blowout of Gilas Women.


China crushes Gilas Women in all facets to kick off its FIBA Women's Asia Cup stint, with eight players scoring in double figures in the lopsided win

Gilas Women proved no match against China after absorbing a sound 52-143 beating in their FIBA Women’s Asia Cup opener at the Prince Hamza Hall in Amman, Jordan on Monday, September 27.

Featuring a powerhouse crew that included WNBA player Han Xu, the Chinese crushed the Filipinas in all facets, shooting a scintillating 67% clip from the field en route to the 91-point blowout.

Han, who is signed to the New York Liberty in the WNBA, churned out 17 points, 6 rebounds, 3 assists, and 1 block, while seven of her teammates scored in double figures.

Afril Bernardino showed the way for Gilas Women with 17 points, 7 rebounds, 2 steals, and 2 blocks, but lacked offensive help as she wound up as the only Filipina scorer in twin digits.

Gilas Women kept in pace with China early, trailing by only 5 points with five minutes left in the opening period, 10-15, off three-pointers from Ana Castillo and Ria Joy Nabalan.

However, the Asian juggernaut pulled away to build a comfortable 35-17 cushion at the end of the quarter after forcing the Filipinas to cough up 9 turnovers in the period alone.

That was only the start of the Chinese ballers’ domination as their lead grew nearly fourfold, 108-38, going into the final salvo.

Yang Liwei led China with 21 points, 5 assists, and 5 steals, Li Yueru had 18 points, 6 assists, and 4 rebounds, while Zhang Ru put up 15 points, 7 assists, and 3 steals in the lopsided win.

Janine Pontejos backstopped Bernardino with 7 points. Nathalia Prado and the debuting Ella Fajardo chimed in 6 points apiece in the loss.

Clare Castro, the Philippines’ only legitimate center, struggled with foul trouble and fouled out with half of the fourth quarter left to play.

Gilas Women look to set aside their crushing loss to China as they resume their Group B campaign against Australia at 12 am on Wednesday, September 29.

The top team from each of the two groups will advance directly to the semifinals, while the No. 2 and 3 teams will play a qualification match for their last four berths. –

Delfin Dioquino

Delfin Dioquino dreamt of being a PBA player, but he did not have the skills to make it. So he pursued the next best thing to being an athlete – to write about them. He took up journalism at the University of Santo Tomas and joined Rappler as soon as he graduated in 2017.