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The Gilas women’s national basketball team kicked off its gold-medal bid in the 31st Southeast Asian Games with a resounding 93-77 win over Indonesia on Monday at the Thanh Tri Gymnasium.
The Gilas women used a massive 32-19 run in the third period to build a 72-57 lead, which held until the final buzzer.
Using their quickness to the hilt, the Gilas Women collected 18 steals, drawing praise from coach Patrick Aquino.
“They played so hard. What can I ask for,” said Aquino. “That’s what we’ve been working on for the last couple of months. Hopefully, we can sustain that.
“I’m just happy that they were doing their best. Talagang sobrang saya ko sa kanila,” Aquino added.
Afril Bernardino led the squad with 16 points on top of nine rebounds and four steals.
Janine Pontejos added 15 points on 7-of-18 shooting from the field while Camille Clarin chipped in 11 markers.
Gabi Bade, one of the team’s two new recruits from the United States, had 11 points in her SEA Games debut. A daughter of former PBA player Cris, she is a mainstay of Sacramento State.
The other new player on the squad, Stefanie Berberade, a former Player of the Year in the National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics school Westmont, scored four points.
After a one-day break, the Philippines faces Thailand, the team it beat for the gold medal in the 2019 Games, on Wednesday in the resumption of the women’s tournament that drew six teams.
The top squad after the round-robin tournament will go home with the gold medal.