Animam1 Jack Danielle Animam: One of the key players in the Philippines’ sixth place finish in the FIBA Women’s Asia Cup. FIBA photo

Pinays settle for sixth in FIBA Asia

July 1, 2023 People's Tonight 341 views

THE Philippines settled for a sixth-place finish in the FIBA Women’s Asia Cup following a 71-80 loss to South Korea yesterday at the Sydney Olympic Park Sports Centre in Australia.

Coach Pat Aquino was still very pleased with the ranking, the country’s highest in the continental tournament since competing in Division A in 2015.

“Again we fell short but I’m still proud of the girls. They never gave up. I think the gaps are closing for us. And I hope we continue doing this in the future,” said Aquino. “When we go back, it’s a great energy for us in preparing for the next one.”

The Gilas Women’s highlight of the tournament was the stunning victory over Chinese Taipei in the group stage that kept the Philippines in Division A.

Ranged against the world No. 29 New Zealand, the Gilas Women gave the Tall Ferns everything to handle before dropping a 78-83 decision in the play-in game for a place in the semifinals Friday.

The Philippines battled toe-to-toe with New Zealand before losing steam in the payoff period, losing its bid to gain an outright spot in the 2024 Paris Olympics qualifiers.

Down by as many as 19 points late in the third quarter, the Gilas Women fought back and got to within striking distance.

The Koreans were holding a 66-55 advantage, when the Gilas Women made a run at the start of the payoff period and threatened at 68-71 on a drive by Afril Bernardino with four minutes remaining.

But South Korea quelled the Philippines’ uprising, as Leeseul Kang nailed a booming triple to keep hee team afloat.

The Koreans then were able to keep the Gilas Women at bay for the rest of the way.

Bernardino came through with 16 points nine rebounds, three assists, and three steals, Jack Danielle Animam logged 12 points and eight boards, while Khate Castillo also scored 12 points in a reserve role for the Philippines.

Park Jihyun finished with 24 points for South Korea while Park Jisu tallied 11 points and 16 rebounds. Kim Danbi and Shin Jihyun finished with 14 and 11 markers, respectively.

The scores:

South Korea (80) – Park JH 24, Kim 14, Park JS 11, Shin 11, Lee S 9, Kang 6, Jin 2, Yang 2, An 1, Lee K 0.
Philippines (71) – Bernardino 16, Animam 12, Castillo 12, Joson 9, De Jesus 5, Pontejos 5, Cabinbin 4, Fajardo 3, Clarin 3, Surada 2, Ozar 0.
Quarterscores: 18-19, 44-34, 66-55, 80-71