SEA Games: Reigning titlists Gilas Women send statement, drub Indonesia

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Determined to defend their gold medal, the Gilas Pilipinas women’s national 5-on-5 basketball team used a strong second half to drub Indonesia, 93-77 in their 31st Southeast Asian Games Vietnam 2021 opener Monday at the Thanh Trì Gymnasium in Hanoi.

After a tightly-contested first half which saw the Filipinas lead by just two, 40-38, Coach Patrick Aquino’s wards had a huge offensive output in the third quarter as they outscored Indonesia, 32-19.

Overseas-based pro Gabi Bade and Khate Castillo first hit triples that enabled the Philippines to lead by double-digits, 53-41.

Later, Bade and Afril Bernardino made back-to-back baskets that pushed the advantage up to 66-52.

Chack Cabinbin then capped a 32-point third quarter for the Philippines with two free throws, as they went ahead, 72-57 entering the final frame.

Not satisfied, Gilas kept attacking offensively and extended the lead up to 79-62 midway in the fourth quarter with five straight points from Katrina Guytingco and Angel Surada.

From there, the women in blue and white maintained the double-digit margin until the end of the game.

Bernardino finished with a near double-double of 16 points, nine rebounds, and four steals. Janine Pontejos added 15 points while Bade and Clarin each tallied 11 markers.

Gilas Women shot 47.4 percent from the field, significantly better than Indonesia’s 39.4 percent, while also scoring 23 points off turnovers.

Nathania Orville paced Indonesia with a game-high 19 points on an efficient 8-of-10 shooting clip.

Gilas Women is eyeing back-to-back gold medals in women’s 5-on-5 basketball after winning the country’s first-ever in the event in 2019 in front of a packed MOA Arena at home.

They will take a day off and play Thailand on Wednesday, May 18 at 10 a.m. (Manila time).

File photo from FIBA.basketball

Levi Verora