Gilas Women inch closer to SEAG gold

Published May 21, 2022, 12:50 PM

by Jonas Terrado

Gilas Pilipinas moved on the cusp of retaining the women’s basketball gold in the Southeast Asian Games after beating Singapore, 88-61, Saturday, May 21 in Hanoi, Vietnam.

Photo from SBP

Another strong start in the game held at the Tranh Tri Gymnasium catapulted Gilas to victory — its fourth in as many games — to move one step closer from reaching the top of the podium for the second straight time.

Coach Pat Aquino’s squad faces Malaysia at 9 a.m. local time (10 a.m. Manila time) for a chance to secure the crown.

Malaysia, holding a 2-1 record, is scheduled to face host Vietnam later in the day and a loss could hand the Philippines the gold.

Four players scored in double figures led by center Clare Castro who had 15 points with four rebounds and two blocks.

Khate Castillo, who fired 25 points in the 118-87 rout of Vietnam last Thursday, and Janine Pontejos produced 14 points apiece while Angel Surada added 11.

Afril Bernardino was held to seven points but grabbed eight rebounds with two assists and two blocks.

Gilas led 6-4 in the early goings but Afril Bernardino split two free throws, Surada scored back-to-back baskets, Andrea Tongco knocked down a triple while Pontejos made two charities to make it 16-4 with over two minutes left in the second.

After allowing Singapore to end the drought, Gilas responded with 16 consecutive points that bridged the second quarter, capped off by Castillo’s back-to-back treys and Surada’s basket for a 32-6 lead over five minutes to go before halftime.

Jacqueline Chu finished with 16 points for Singapore which remained winless in four matches.