Gilas Pilipinas Women’s Team manages to remain in Division A after salvaging a win in the seventh place classification game at the 2019 FIBA Women’s Asia Cup, in Bangalore, India.
The Philippines banked on the sharpshooting trio of Janine Pontejos, Ana Alicia Katrina Castillo, and Ria Joy Nabalan as they shot the lights out in the second half to put the Indian National Team away, 92-78.
Pontejos led her team in scoring with 18, while Castillo and Nabalan had 15 and 13 markers, as they combined for 12 of 13 three-pointers made by the Philippine side. Gilas Pilipinas drained nearly 45 percent of their attempts from beyond the arc, compared to just eight made by India.
The score was much closer before they started hitting their shots from deep, as the host squad continued to show tremendous resiliency throughout the game and were never really too far behind.
Using a full-court pressure defense, the Filipinos had quickly built a comfortable double-digit lead. However, the hosts were able to counter late in the second quarter an rallied to cut their deficit down to just three going into halftime.
Prior to the win, the Philippines finished winless in Group B against powerhouse teams Australia, China, and New Zealand. The Filipinos had also lost by an average margin of 43.7 points per game, with their closest result being a 75-57 defeat against the Tall Ferns of New Zealand.
Formerly known as Perlas Pilipinas, the since renamed Gilas Pilipinas Women’s Team were not able to book a seat in the playoff round but still had a successful campaign, all things considered.
The win over India in the seventh place match of the classification round guaranteed that the team would not be relegated, and will retain its Division A status for the upcoming 2021 FIBA Asia Women’s Cup.
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