Gilas girls dismantle Samoa, sweep group to earn outright semis ticket

Published June 27, 2022, 12:00 AM

by Reynald I. Magallon

Gilas Pilipinas U16 girls team dismantled Samoa, 94-65, to sweep the group stage of the FIBA U16 Women’s Asian Championship at the Prince Hamza Arena in Jordan, Sunday, June 26.

Gilas Pilipinas U16 girls team celebrate with Filipino fans in the venue after punching an outright semifinals berth with its 94-65 victory over Samoa (Photo from FIBA)

The Filipina cagebelles turned it on early and held the lead for the entirety of the match as they outclassed their opponents on both ends of the floor en route to the commanding win and an outright semifinals spot following a 3-0 record to top the Group B standings.

Kristan Yumul sustained her scintillating shooting display, burying five triples to finish with 22 points while Natalie Panganiban and BJ Villarin added 14 and 13 markers respectively.

After two consecutive 20-point outputs, Gabbi Ramos only mustered four points although she still left her imprint on the defensive end after pulling down 10 boards along with four steals.

It was actually Samoa which scored the first two points of the game although it was all Gilas from thereon as the Filipinas built a seven point lead, 26-19, at the end of the opening frame.The Filipinas steadily built their lead from that point as they dictated the pace in the following quarters to take a comfortable 19-point lead, 71-52, heading into the final frame.

The lead even reached as high as 31 points, 94-63, late in the fourth quarter as the Filipinas showed no mercy of the Samoan, who, despite the lopsided defeat, finished third in the standings to advance to the quarterfinals.

Kira-May Filemu and Azaleeah Oloapu led Samoa with 28 and 18 points respectively.

With the outright semis berth, Gilas will have the luxury of a two-day break on Monday and Tuesday before plunging back into action against the winner of Samoa and the second best team in the Group A.