Gilas Pilipinas Women’s Basketball Team secures their first ever gold medal finish after dominating five-time titlists Thailand, 91-71, at the 2019 Southeast Asian Games.
The Filipinas jumped into an early 11-point lead, before the Thais answered back with a 13-8 run in the final five minutes of the first period to cut their deficit down to just seven.
After trailing by double-digits early in the second quarter, Thailand came back to tie the game at 41-apiece with a little over three minutes left in the quarter after back-to-back made three-pointers from forward Supavadee Kunchuan.
A motivated Philippine side quickly took a two-point halftime lead back up to nine within a minute of play. The hosts limited the Thais to just nine points in the third period, as they went on another late rally that gave them a 16-point lead at the end of the quarter.
The Philippines managed to keep the Thais at bay in the final quarter, with forward Danica Jose’s layup with two minutes remaining in the game giving them a 21-point lead, their biggest of the game.
Jack Animam led all scorers with 21 points off an incredible 90 percent shooting from the field, while the sharpshooting Janine Pontejos added 16 markers. Afril Bernardino notched a double-double of 10 points and 15 boards in the win.
Meanwhile, Thai-American guard Tiffany Bias struggled to find her shot but still managed to finish with 15 points, four rebounds, and four assists. The usually defensive-minded Supavadee Kunchuan finished the game with 12 points, seven rebounds, and four steals, but was plagued by foul trouble for most of the game.
With the win, the Philippines finishes with a historic first women’s basketball gold medal at the biennial meet, while Thailand wins their ninth overall silver medal. The hosts can sweep all four SEA Games basketball events after winning the topping both the Men’s and Women’s 3X3 tournaments last week.
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