Gilas Pilipinas women clinch first win in ongoing William Jones Cup

Jack Animam and the Gilas women’s squad enters the winning column (Gilas Pilipinas Women’s Basketball Facebook page)

By Leobert Julian A. de la Peña

The Gilas Pilipinas women’s national basketball team continued its winning ways on the international stage after escaping Iran, 64-60, in the ongoing William Jones Cup hoops tournament held at the Heping Basketball Gymnasium in Taiwan last August 6, 2023.

With the outcome, the decorated Filipina cagers just clinched its first win of the tournament and already topped its 2019 campaign when they ended the William Jones Cup without a single victory.

Jack Animam proved she is the heart and soul of the women’s national team after stuffing the stat sheets with seven points, 15 rebounds, four assists, three blocks, and two steals.

Animam, the team’s main gunner possessing the most international experience among the members anchored PHL’s paint and was the squad’s sole communicator during their defensive sets.

Iran opened the ball game shooting from all cylinders and took a 23-30 lead heading into the last two quarters of the nip-and-tuck affair.

However, the Filipinas woke up at the most perfect time and snowballed its way in the third quarter after completing a momentum-clinching 26-9 scoring run.

That massive run rewarded team PHL with a 10-point lead heading into the fourth quarter, 49-39, led by Kacey dela Rosa and Jhazmin Joson.

The duo was impressive during that surge and ended the game with a combined 24-point production and eight rebounds.

Backstopping Animam, dela Rosa, and Joson were Andrea Tongco and Gabi Bade who contributed seven points each.

The PHL national team is still without its superstar point guard Vanessa De Jesus who suffered a season-ending knee injury confirmed by Duke University a week ago.