Primer for Gilas Women’s campaign in the FIBA Women’s Asia Cup

Gilas Pilipinas Women are all set to compete in the 2021 FIBA Women’s Asia Cup in Jordan. Here’s everything you need to know about the competition. 

What is the FIBA Women’s Asia Cup?

The FIBA Women’s Asia Cup is the premier women’s basketball competition for the best national teams across the Asia/Oceania region. It also serves as a precursor to the FIBA Women’s Basketball World Cup. 

When and where will the tournament be held?

The 2021 FIBA Women’s Asia Cup Division A will be held from September 27 to October 3 at the Prince Hamza Hall in Amman, Jordan. This marks the first time that West Asia will be hosting the FIBA Women’s Asia Cup.

Which countries will play in the FIBA Women’s Asia Cup?

The participants for the 2021 FIBA Women’s Asia Cup Division A are as follows:

  • Australia
  • China
  • Chinese Taipei
  • India
  • Japan
  • Korea
  • New Zealand
  • Philippines

The eight teams are divided into two groups: Japan, Korea, New Zealand, and India in Group A; and China, Australia, Chinese Taipei and the Philippines in Group B.

What is at stake at the FIBA Women’s Asia Cup?

The FIBA Women’s Asia Cup will not only crown the continental champion but also qualify four teams to the FIBA Women’s Basketball World Cup 2022 Qualifying Tournaments. 

The eighth-place finisher of the 2021 FIBA Women’s Asia Cup Division A will be relegated to Division B for the 2023 edition of the tournament. 

What are the key dates for the Philippines in the tournament?

In the Group Phase, the Philippines will face China on September 27 at 9:00 PM, Australia on September 29 at 12:00 AM, and Chinese Taipei on September 30 at 12:00 AM.

The next games of the Philippines will depend on the results of the Group Phase. Below are the scenarios:

  • If the Philippines finishes No. 1 in Group B, it will automatically advance to the Semifinals on October 2. 
  • If the Philippines finishes No. 2 or No. 3 in Group B, it will play in the Qualification to Semifinals on September 30.
  • If the Philippines finishes No. 4 in Group B, it will play in the Classification for 7th-8th place on October 1 at midnight.

After the Semifinals, the Classification for 5th-6th place will also be played on October 2.

The 3rd place game and the Finals will be held on October 3.

Where can fans watch the FIBA Women’s Asia Cup?

You can catch all the action live on:

One Sports (Ch. 41 on free TV and Ch. 6 on Cignal TV)

One Sports+ (Ch. 91 SD and Ch. 261 HD on Cignal TV)

Smart Gigafest (gigafest.smart)

Who will play for Gilas Women?

Team captain Janine Pontejos leads Gilas Women, along with fellow national team mainstays Afril Bernardino, Khate Castillo, Chack Cabinbin, Clare Castro, Ria Nabalan, Mar Prado, and Andrea Tongco. Rookies Ella Fajardo, Karl Ann Pingol, Kristine Cayabyab, and Camille Clarin complete the 12-woman lineup.

Which Gilas Women players should fans watch out for?

All eight veterans were part of the team that won the Philippines’ first Southeast Asian Games gold medal in 5-on-5 women’s basketball in 2019. Janine Pontejos, Afril Bernardino, and Clare Castro took home double gold medals, as they also competed in the 3×3 women’s basketball event in the same tournament.

All eyes will be on Pontejos in the upcoming FIBA Women’s Asia Cup. She’s a lethal shooter who already logged her name in FIBA history by giving the Philippines its first FIBA 3×3 World Cup medal after winning the 3-point shootout in 2018. 

Another player to watch out for is Afril Bernardino, one of Gilas Women’s top scorers. She has been playing for Gilas Pilipinas since 2015 and her leadership on and off the court will be crucial for the team.

Ella Fajardo, despite being a rookie, will also play a vital role for Gilas Women. The young guard is set to play for Fairleigh Dickinson University in New Jersey in the US NCAA Division 1. While she’s new to the seniors’ team, she is no stranger to international basketball, having represented the Philippines in youth competitions.

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.