MANILA, Philippines – Gilas Pilipinas Women proved head and shoulders above their foes in 3x3 basketball in the 2019 Southeast Asian Games after ending Day 1 unbeaten in 3 games on Sunday, December 1.
Energized by the zealous crowd at the Filoil Flying V Centre in San Juan, the Philippines toppled Myanmar, Malaysia, and Indonesia to seize the top spot in the six-nation competition.
Afril Bernardino, Jack Animam, Janine Pontejos, and Clare Castro opened their campaign with a 21-4 mauling of Myanmar before showing composure in the crunch in narrow wins in their last two games.
Castro dominated against Myanmar with 8 points, while Pontejos topscored in a 15-13 escape over Malaysia with 5 points and in a 16-13 win over Indonesia with 6 points.
Bernardino scored at least 4 points in each of the 3 victories as Animam – who recently nursed an orbital fracture – delivered timely buckets and key defensive stops.
The Philippines will play two more games in the preliminary round on Tuesday, December 2, at the same venue needing to win as least one match to secure a coveted berth in the semifinals.
1. Philippines vs Myanmar (21-4)
Scores: Castro 8, Pontejos 6, Bernardino 4, Animam 3.
2. Philippines vs Malaysia (15-13)
Scores: Pontejos 5, Animam 4, Bernardino 4, Castro 2.
3. Philippines vs Indonesia (16-13)
Scores: Pontejos 6, Bernardino 5, Animam 2, Castro 2.
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.