by Waylon Galvez
The Gilas women’s 3×3 national team came through with a pair of gutsy wins to book a quarterfinal spot in the FIBA 3×3 U18 World Cup last Wednesday in Mongolia.
After downing the Netherlands, 10-9, on Camille Clarin’s buzzer-beating follow-up, the Pat Aquino-mentored PH belles shocked the Czech Republic by pulling off a 15-14 overtime win in their do-or-die match to progress into the next round.
The national team finished second in Pool C behind France with a 3-1 mark as it also beat Mongolia, 20-14.
The only blot in an otherwise impressive showing was dealt by the taller and more experienced French belles.
“Congratulations to Coach Pat Aquino and to our girls for winning against powerhouse teams, Netherlands and Czech Republic today in dramatic fashion,” said Samahang Basketbol ng Pilipinas (SBP) President Al Panlilio.
“The wins propelled us to the next round and face China in the quarterfinals,” Panlilio added.
The PH belles will have their hands full against the Chinese who likewise swept their group elims.
This marked the first time that a PH women’s team managed to advance to the quarters.
“It is encouraging to note that this early in our developmental stage,” said the basketball federation chief. “Our decision to expose our young girls in the world stage is also being rewarded with inspiring victories. We pray for their continued success against China on Friday.”