Camille Clarin and the Gilas women’s 3×3 team have been raring to face Thailand again in the FIBA 3×3 Asia Cup after it foiled Filipina cagers’ gold medal bid in the 31st Southeast Asian Games.
It was the Thais who defeated the national team in the semifinals of the 3×3 basketball event in Vietnam, relegating the quartet of Afril Bernardino, Janine Pontejos, Clare Castro and Angelica Surada to the bronze medal match.
Interestingly, Thailand, which copped the gold in the biennial meet, will be one of the challenges Gilas has to hurdle to book a spot in the main draw of the FIBA Asia Cup.
“What he has been preaching is that we have to beat Thailand. I think that’s been our main goal since the start,” Clarin said of head coach Pat Aquino’s lessons during the team’s preparations earlier this week.
The Gilas 3×3 women’s team won’t be seeing action until the second day of the tournament when it takes on Jordan at 3:20 p.m. and the much-anticipated Thailand game at 6:50 p.m. Thursday. The Filipinas will need to sweep their qualifying draw assignments to top its pool and advance to the main draw.
Clarin, though, is confident with their chances as she, along with Bernardino, Trish Guytingco and Khate Castillo, bank on their outside sniping and scrappy defense to settle the score with Thailand.
“We already matched up with Jordan before in a couple of scrimmages last year when we played in the Asia Cup so we know how they play, but Thailand, in our campaign in the SEA Games, we definitely didn’t show our best, but we did show potential or ability to beat them. I think we know what to do this time and we have the right tools,” added the 5-foot-9 forward.
On the other hand, the 3×3 men’s team, which will be bannered by Almond Vosotros, Lervin Flores, Samboy De Leon and Joseph Eriobu, will also open its campaign today, first playing Jordan at 10:50 a.m. before rounding up its schedule against Indonesia at 8:45 p.m.