Kristan Yumul and Gabbi Ramos look to sustain their fine play as the Gilas Pilipinas U16 girls team eyes a shot at the Division A promotion when it takes on Samoa in the semifinals of the FIBA U16 Women’s Asian Championship at the Prince Hamza Arena in Jordan on Wednesday, June 29.
Tip-off of the match is 8:45 p.m.
Samoa, which lost to the Filipinas in the group stage, arranged a rematch following a pulsating 54-51 victory over Kazakhstan in the semifinals. Kira-Mei Filemu led the charge anew for Samoa with 21 points and is expected to do the same against the Filipinas especially after leading the scoring in the group stage with an average of 25.3 points per game, including a 28-point explosion against Gilas in the group stage.
However, the Samoans will be facing up against a Gilas side which has been leading in the scoring in the tournament with a 96.7 points per game with aces Yumul and Ramos leading the charge.
Yumul has been on a tear for the Filipinas as she became the second-best scorer at the end of the groups with 25 points per game powered by a tournament-best six triples per outing. Also in the top five was Gabbi Ramos who had 17.3 points per game on top of her 14.7 rebounding average in three games.
With the two leading the charge, the Gilas cruised past the group stage with a 3-0 record including a 94-65 domination of Samoa in its final group stage assignment. Aside from the two cagebelles, also out to make their strides in the playoffs are Natalie Panganiban, who is the team’s third best scorer with 14 points per game, and BJ Villarin who had a breakout game last timeout with 13 points and seven rebounds.
A win would allow Gilas to advance to the Finals against either Lebanon or Syria. The team which will emerge as champion will get the promotion to the Division A where it is set to join Asian powerhouses Japan, South Korea, Australia and New Zealand