The Gilas Pilipinas women’s team is determined not to let up after a dominant 3-0 start to the 31st Southeast Asian Games here.
Fresh off a 118-87 thrashing of hosts Vietnam at Thanh Tri Gymnasium on Thursday, the Filipina cagers aren’t about to give up an inch over their opponents with two games remaining on their schedule.
The Gilas Pilipinas women’s basketball team is one win away from a gold medal after defeating Singapore 88-61 at the 31st Southeast Asian Games in Hanoi, Vietnam.
The Gilas women extended their winning streak to four games on Thursday at Thanh Tri Gymnasium in Hanoi, leading the six-team tournament 4-0 card.
Clare Castro led the fight for the country with 15 points, while Ana Castillo and Janine Pontejos both contributed 14.
The Philippines, like in previous games, commanded the tempo of the game from the start, creating an early 14-4 advantage capped by a three-pointer from Andrea Tongco.
The Gilas women were even more dominant in the second quarter, with Ana Castillo hitting back-to-back three-pointers for a 30-6 lead with five minutes remaining in the first half.
At 7:28 in the third, the Philippines had already doubled Singapore’s output, 46-23, thanks to a quick break move finished by Pontejos. The lead increased to 31 points following another three from Pontejos, 68-37.
“I think we’ve learned our lesson. Since 2015, 2017, talagang heartbroken lahat kami,” remarked head coach Pat Aquino, referring to the SEA Games editions in which the Gilas women failed to even reach the podium.
“I think, ‘di namin papakawalan ito. We’ll try to do our very best, talagang sana makuha natin yung gold, “ he stated.
They have no intention of slowing down following three dominant victories in their effort to retain their medals.
“Nagfofocus lang kami. One at a time kami. ‘Di po kami nag-ooverthink na sa susunod na game, ganito dapat,” remarked Khate Castillo, who scored 25 points against Vietnam.
“Kung ano yung game namin, focus muna kami dun, nagtitraining kami and nag-uusap kami as a team,” she explained.
Singapore, on the other hand, received the majority of its buckets from Jacqueline Jia (16 points). They, on the other hand, fell to 0-4 at the bottom of the rankings.
After winning gold in the women’s basketball tournament in Manila in 2019, the team is hoping to defend their title.