MANILA, Philippines – Afril Bernardino continued her stellar showing as Gilas Women hurdled arguably the biggest roadblock of their title-retention bid in the Southeast Asian Games in Vietnam with flying colors.
Bernardino churned 20 points, 16 rebounds, 3 blocks, and 3 steals to power the Philippines to a 97-81 rout of Thailand at the Thanh Tri District Sporting Hall in Hanoi on Wednesday, May 18.
In a battle between the gold and silver winners in the 2019 SEA Games, Gilas Women built a sizable lead in the middle quarters behind the steady play of Bernardino en route to a 2-0 start.
Thailand trailed by just a single possession in the second period, 25-27, before the Philippines rode on a 12-2 run – all coming from beyond the arc – to stretch its advantage to double digits.
Bernardino then scored a layup midway through the final frame as Gilas Women enjoyed their biggest lead of the game at 88-63.
Stephanie Berberabe churned out 10 points, 5 rebounds, 3 assists, and 2 steals, while Trina Guytingco put up another 10 points for the Philippines, which spread the wealth with nine players scoring at least 7 points.
Clare Castro, Chack Cabinbin, and Gabi Bade chimed in 9 points each in the rout as Janine Pontejos, Ana Castillo, and Andrea Tongco combined for 21 points.
Lumdabpang Thunchanok chalked up 14 points and 5 rebounds to pace Thailand, which dropped to 0-2 after a stunning 67-70 loss to Malaysia two days prior.
Malaysia never won a game in the previous SEA Games.
Gilas Women look to bolster their title quest on Thursday against host Vietnam as the team with the best record in the six-nation tournament will win gold.
Philippines 97 – Bernardino 20, Berberabe 10, Guytingco 10, Bade 9, Cabinbin 9, Castro 9, Castillo 7, Pontejos 7, Tongco 7, Fajardo 6, Surada 3, Clarin 0.
Thailand 81 – Thunchanok 14, Thidaporn 13, Sriharaksa 13, Warunee 12, Juthamas 11, Rattiyakorn 8, Amphawa 5, Rujiwan 2, Pimchosita 2, Penphan 1, Atchara 0, Kanokwan 0.
Quarters: 22-16; 57-40; 80-59; 97-81.