by Waylon Galvez
Gilas women’s 3×3 national team came close from scoring a huge win but its campaign came to an end with a 21-16 setback to Australia in the quarterfinal stage of the FIBA 3×3 Asia Cup Sunday in Changsha, China.
Composed of collegiate standouts Jack Danielle Animam and Afril Bernardino of National University, Janine Pontejos of Centro Escolar University and Clare Castro of Far Eastern University, the Nationals finished in the top eight.
“This is our first time to join the Asia Cup, and I’m just so proud of the girls they fought hard,” said coach Pat Aquino.
“I know we didn’t make to the semifinals. But the way the girls played we expect them fight it all out again next time. After the Asia Cup, we’ll be joining more events and we will be there next time with the best,” added Aquino.
The women’s squad topped Pool A of the qualifying draw with victories against Chinese Taipei (16-13) and Samoa (21-1) last Wednesday, and opposite Vanuatu (22-5) last Thursday.
During the pool play, the Philippine split its matches in Pool C as it lost to a tough Japan side, 20-8, then came back with a 21-6 triumph against Sri Lanka last Friday to advance in the next stage.