Gilas Women end group phase with loss to Chinese Taipei

Gilas Pilipinas Women continued to show signs of improvement but Chinese Taipei’s hot shooting proved too much to handle, resulting in a 93-52 loss in the 2021 FIBA Women’s Asia Cup Thursday at the Prince Hamza Hall in Amman, Jordan.

Afril Bernardino finished with another all-around performance for Gilas Women, posting a double-double of 24 points and 14 rebounds, along with three assists, two steals, and a block. 

Clare Castro, who was the tallest on the court for a change after being undersized against China and Australia, had her best game so far in the tournament. She tallied 14 points, six rebounds, and two assists.

“Life goes on. The girls did their job. They played well, but again we still lost the game. We have to improve on so [many] things,” said Gilas coach Pat Aquino. “We played very hard and we’ll come back stronger next time.”

Gilas started out strong and kept up with Chinese Taipei’s production in the opening minutes of the match. Chinese Taipei, however, took advantage of the Philippines’ turnovers and defensive lapses to build a double-digit lead early in the second quarter. 

Powered by the duo of Bernardino and Castro, Gilas caught up midway through the period, cutting the deficit down to eight. But Chinese Taipei got their bearings back for a 45-30 halftime lead.

Bernardino continued to carry Gilas’ offense on her shoulders, but Chinese Taipei picked apart Gilas’ zone defense with their hot shooting and crafty ball movement. Chinese Taipei outscored the Philippines in the third quarter, 31-11, to break the game wide open. 

The Philippines displayed better defense in the final period, but it was too late as Chinese Taipei led by as many as 43 points. 

Chinese Taipei shot 15-for-41 from beyond the arc, while the Philippines only made two triples courtesy of Ria Nabalan and Ella Fajardo. Gilas also committed too many turnovers with 26, which Chinese Taipei converted to 31 points.

Lin Wen-Yu torched the hoop with 19 points including five 3s for Chinese Taipei.

The Philippines remained winless after three games to finish last in Group B. Gilas Women must win their next game on Friday (12:00 AM PHT) against India, the last-placer in Group A, to avoid being relegated to Division B.

For more updates on Gilas Women, follow the SBP on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram. To get the latest information on the FIBA Women’s Asia Cup 2021, check out the tournament’s official Facebook page.