Khate Castillo caught fire from downtown to lead Gilas Pilipinas to a 74-70 victory against India in the classification match for 7th place in the 2021 FIBA Women’s Asia Cup Thursday at the Prince Hamza Hall in Amman, Jordan.
Castillo, who finished with 22 points on 7-of-11 shooting from deep, was instrumental in the second-half surge that helped Gilas Women end their campaign triumphantly.
Team captain Janine Pontejos also had a stellar outing, setting the pace for the Philippines with her hot start. She scored 17 of her 22 points in the first half and also tallied five rebounds, two assists, and three steals.
The seventh-place finish ensured that the Philippines retained its spot in Division A for the 2023 edition of the FIBA Women’s Asia Cup.
“I’m very, very happy with the girls. They didn’t stop competing,” said Gilas head coach Pat Aquino. “I know for the past three games, we were struggling. But today, I know they played together and as a team. Good victory for us.”
Down by as many as 10 points, Gilas Women turned things around in the third period where they outscored India, 21-13, to take a three-point lead heading into the final quarter.
Afril Bernardino, Pontejos, and Castillo conspired to keep the Philippines ahead. Rookie Camille Clarin also made some crucial plays, including a 3-point shot that extended Gilas’ lead to 11 with over six minutes remaining.
India tried to mount a comeback and came within two points with 3:30 to go, but back-to-back 3-pointers from Castillo allowed Gilas Women to regain momentum and hold on to the win.
Bernardino continued to display her all-around brilliance, putting up nine points, 11 rebounds, seven assists, four steals, and four blocks. Clarin added eight points and four rebounds.
“We’re very happy because we won this game and we did our best to get this win,” said Pontejos.
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