The Gilas Pilipinas teenage girls’ team suffered a big blow on Wednesday as they were defeated 73-88 by Samoa in the semifinals of the FIBA U16 Women’s Asian Championship Division B in Amman, Jordan.
Gilas girls’ head coach, Brian Rosario, noted that his charges are looking forward to getting back on track after blowing their opportunity at promotion to Division A with the setback, which reduced them to the battle for third place.
Rosario said, “It was a tough loss for sure. We knew the game was going to come down to points in the paint and unfortunately, Samoa created opportunities for themselves by targeting key matchups and crashing the offensive boards,”
The Filipinas were outrebounded 72-39 towards the end of the game. They were also outscored 52-28 in the paint.
Even though they had recently won their group round battle, 94-65, the Gilas ladies struggled against a tall Samoan squad.
Nonetheless, Rosario feels his squad has what it takes to return to winning ways following the disappointment.
Rosario said, “Our team is resilient. Filipinos are resilient. And the pride our team has for the country is shown in the way they play the game no matter the score,”.
He aaded, “What we saw in the locker room after the game were eyes filled with fire and determination to finish this championship with a win.”.
Julie Amos, his assistant coach, echoed his comments, while also viewing the surprise loss as an opportunity to build character for the young cagers.
Amos said, “Even though we weren’t happy with the result, I think this game [will] help our girls build character and understand that you gotta have poised when it’s a close game,”
She added, “Playing to win bronze will be our mission and I’m confident our girls will bounce back knowing that they got support from our coaching staff, the fans here in Jordan, and the people of the Philippines,”
The battle for third place begins at 8:45 p.m. on Thursday. (Manila time), the Philippines will face Lebanon.