By Leobert Julian A. de la Peña
The Gilas Pilipinas Under-18 Women’s national team just qualified for the 2022 FIBA Asian Championship semifinal stage after handing the Maldives a demolition exhibition, 110-28, held at the Koramangala Indoor Stadium in India.
Gilas just recorded one of its best FIBA U-18 starts and is coming off two convincing victories against Thailand and Samoa to end Division B with an untainted 3-0 record.
It was total domination against the Maldives as the young Filipina hoopers shot the lights out and were automatic on offense.
In just 10 minutes of action in the opening quarter, the Filipinas immediately blew the game wide-open and established a 21-6 lead courtesy of their balanced offensive attack.
Louna Ozar led the way for the Filipinas after dropping a game-high 22 points built from an incredible 11/15 shooting from the field.
It was Ozar’s early offensive explosion that ballooned the PHL’s lead to double-digits with four minutes remaining in the opening canto.
Backstopping Ozar’s monster performance were Ryhanna Calvert and Kate Bobadilla who both contributed 17 points apiece.
Gilas’ racked up their biggest lead to 85 points and schooled the Maldives’ defense after reaching the 100-point mark in the last three minutes of the fourth quarter.
On the other hand, it was a forgettable performance for Maldives after committing 64 turnovers in just one game while shooting an awful 10/40 from the field.
With the win, the Filipinas earned an outright berth in the tournament semifinals and are seeking to clinch the gold medal against Division A teams.