Gilas women clinch win in FIBA Asia Cup

The Gilas women’s fight in the FIBA Asia Cup is still alive after downing India (FIBA photo)

By: Leobert Julian A. de la Peña

It was all laban and puso from the first quarter down to the last.

The Gilas women’s valiant effort in their match against India paid off as they earned a convincing win, 92-78, to stay alive and keep their spot in Division A.

The Patrick Aquino-led squad came out with confidence and enthusiasm as they caught fire early in the game, torching the Indian national team at every opportunity.

Janine Pontejos spearheaded Gilas’ attack by making 4 three-pointers while also tallying five boards, four assists, and three big steals to create the spark the Philippines needed to keep their consistency.

Coach Aquino deployed different line-up shuffles, including putting in Pontejos and Ana Castillo the majority of the time.

Castillo usually served as a second-stringer guard for the national team but found her stride against India, scoring 15 big points.

The Indians were taller and bigger down-low, but the veteran smarts of the Gilas frontcourt prevailed and was applauded by the coaching staff.

Gemma Miranda and Kelli Hayes each tallied 11 points for Gilas, while the hard-working Afril Bernardino impressed in every statistical department as she contributed 10 points, 7 rebounds, two assists, and four steals.