Gilas Pilipinas Women yield to Australia, remain winless in FIBA Asia Cup

Published September 29, 2021, 2:05 PM

by Kristel Satumbaga-Villar

Gilas Pilipinas Women’s Ella Fajardo drives past Abigail Wehrung of Australia during their 2021 FIBA Women’s Asia Cup in Amman, Jordan Tuesday (FIBA website)

Gilas Pilipinas Women succumbed to a 120-56 beating from powerhouse Australia in the 2021 FIBA Women’s Asia Cup in Amman, Jordan Tuesday (Wednesday in Manila).

The Filipina dribblers trailed throughout the match to remain winless in two appearances in Group B following a lopsided 143-52 loss to China Monday (Tuesday in Manila).

With the defeat, the PH team needed to prevail over Chinese Taipei on Wednesday (Thursday in Manila), to avoid a relegation match against Group A’s cellar-dweller team.

Only Janine Pontejos and Kristine Cayabyab scored in double figures for the Filipinas, with Pontejos draining 13 points on a 4-of-10 fieldgoal shooting and Cayabyab chipping in 10 points including two triples.

Afril Bernardino and Ria Joy Nabalan had eight points each, Ana Castillo and Camille Clarin added six points apiece, and Clare Castro scored three points. France Cabinbin produced two points.

The PH team struggled on all fronts with Australia outrebounding the PH squad, 68-25, while scoring 26 points off the Filipinas’ 19 turnovers.

The Australians also leaned on their strong second unit by scoring 63 points off the bench.

Lauren Nicholson paced Australia with 21 points, six rebounds and three assists, while Keely Jane Frooling finished with a double-double of 19 points and 13 boards.

Alexandra Sharp, Lauren Scherf, and Darcee Garbin added 12 points apiece.

Australia and China remained tied at the helm of Group B with 2-0 marks, while Chinese Taipei has 0-2.

In Group A, Japan and Korea lead with 2-0 cards, while New Zealand and India have 0-2 marks.