Gilas Pilipinas cruised past Thailand, 97-81. Wednesday, May 18 and remained unbeaten in the women’s basketball competitions of the 31st Southeast Asian Games in Hanoi, Vietnam.
Afril Bernardino led the charge with 20 points and 16 rebounds as the Filipina cagers registered their second win in as many games at the expense of the team they beat for the gold in the 2019 edition in Manila.
With back-to-back double-digit victories, Gilas should feel a sense of confidence going into the next three games of the competition which uses a single-round format to determine the winner.
Gilas plays host Vietnam on Thursday at 5 p.m. local time (6 p.m. Manila time), still at the Thanh Tri Gymnasium, in a match that could once again test the defending champions’ mettle.
Katrina Guytingco and Stefanie Berberabe added 10 points each for coach Pat Aquino’s squad, which pulled away in the second quarter to turn what was expected to be a tight contest into a blowout.
The Philippines was up 27-25 with over seven minutes left in the second when it fired four triples courtesy of Berberabe, Chack Cabinbin, Janine Pontejos, and Gabi Bade during a 12-2 run that made it 39-27.
Gilas would eventually go into the half up 57-40 before stretching the lead to 22 twice in the third and 88-63 with less than six minutes remaining in the fourth on a basket by Bernardino.
Thailand, which absorbed a 70-67 loss to Malaysia to open its campaign, fell to 0-2 in the tournament.