Gilas Women grab much-needed win in FIBA Asia Cup closer

A happy Gilas Pilipinas women’s team after notching their first-ever win in the tournament (FIBA Photo)

By Leobert Julian A. de la Peña 

Finally, a win for the Philippines.

After three heartbreaking defeats at the hands of China, Australia, and Chinese Taipei, the Gilas Women basketball squad finally broke out of their slump to outlast India, 74-70, and ended their 2021 FIBA Women’s Asia Cup campaign on a high note.

It was pure euphoria for the Filipinas as they flocked to each other after the buzzer to celebrate their all-around performance.

“I’m very, very happy with the girls. They didn’t stop competing. I know for the past three games, we were struggling, definitely. But today, I know they played together, and as a team. Good victory for us,” said head coach Pat Aquino.

Although lacking in size, the courageous Filipinas stood tall and was able to put up a solid defensive game against the Indians.

However, the story of the game was Khate Castillo who just waxed hot in the game after dropping 22 points off a 7/11 shooting from rainbow country.

Castillo’s timely three-pointers helped them keep score with the Indians throughout the game and buried the dagger with 2:38 left in the fourth to extend their lead to 73-65.

Aside from the hot Castillo, Janine Pontejos also corked her firepower at will after chipping in with the same point production.

“Just as coach said, we’re very happy because we won this game, and we did our best to win this game. For me, there’s a big factor for the audience because they pushed our energy to win this game,” Pontejos said.