By Leobert Julian A. de la Peña
The Gilas Pilipinas 3×3 women’s campaign in the 2023 FIBA Asia Cup came to an end after losing against New Zealand, 10-17, in the quarterfinal round last April 2, 2023, held at the Singapore Sports Hub OCBC Square.
Despite failing to barge into the top three finishers of the prestigious 3×3 tournament, the Filipinas still delivered Gilas women’s best finish in the FIBA Asia Cup.
The PHL women’s team got off to a promising start against the taller New Zealand squad after using their speed and efficient outside shooting to build an early 3-0 cushion in the knockout game.
However, New Zealand was quick to adjust to the Filipinas’ style of play and decided to use their size advantage when they pounded their way inside.
New Zealand’s dominant performance in the paint then posted tons of problems for the Filipinas and handed them a scoring drought midway through the game.
From a 7-5 lead, New Zealand suddenly flipped the switch that helped them retake the lead, 11-7, with only four minutes remaining in the game.
Gilas then only managed to score three more points in the given time while New Zealand iced the match with back-to-back buckets in the shaded area that halted the Filipinas’ comeback attempt.
Janine Pontejos led Gilas with six big points while star Afril Bernardino contributed three markers in the losing effort.
With the exit, the Gilas 3×3 women’s team will look to go back to the drawing board and prepare for the next set of international hoops tournaments.