Gilas Pilipinas U16 team caused waves on the Asian tour
As far as Patrick Aquino knows, the Gilas Pilipinas women’s team, which is playing in Division B of the Fiba Asian Women’s U16 Women’s Football Championship, has yet to achieve anything.
“There are still two games to play,” he told the Inquirer on Monday by phone from Amman, Jordan, where the tournament is being held.
The team completed a 94-65 comeback of Group A against Samoa at Prince Hamza Hall on Sunday night – a big night for the Filipino women following the national players’ thrilling victory over Bosnia and Herzegovina in Brezice, Slovenia.
Gilas Women have booked a spot in the semi-finals, where they could have a rematch with Samoa or face dangerous Kazakhstan.
But even the director of the national women’s program understands that whatever happens from this point forward in the league, the current roster represents something special for the sport.
“This is practically at the core of the future of the women’s program,” said Aquino, also the architect of a UAAP-dominated National University of Women’s basketball. “The girls live abroad, they’re on an under-16 team so it’s clear that with their passports at that age we no longer foresee any problems for them to represent the country in the future. future.”
Playing far from the limelight normally reserved for the sport, the young Gilas women prevailed, with only a 92-86 win over Syria – a match in which the team led by a double margin – ending with close ratio. The Philippines also overtook Indonesia, 104-68.
Kristan Yumul and Gabriella Ramos were spectacular for the U16 team. Yumul is averaging a team-best 25 points per game, burning opponents from outside the arc, where she’s hit almost half of her shots so far (20 out of 41, 48.8%). Ramos, meanwhile, is averaging a monster double with 17.3 points and 14.7 rebounds so far.
“Kristan, she really is a takedown shooter. Her demeanor is very calm and coaches have said that she likes it [former PBA Most Valuable Player] James Yap. Gabbie, on the other hand, works really hard,” said Aquino.
“People have been making great contributions their way,” Aquino said.
Playmaker Natalie Panganiban (14 points, 7.0 points, 6.0 points) and striker Samantha Medina (7.3 points, 7.0 points) have played very successfully in the tournament for the Philippines under coach Brian Rosario and his assistants, Julie Amos and Mark Solano.
And Aquino wasn’t one bit surprised.
“I’m really optimistic about this squad,” he said. “Of course, since the last time we played here in 2009, I always knew that our opponent would be bigger and really physically fit. But I know this team is talented enough to compete.”
And Aquino wants the Filipino girls to do their best until the last minute.
“All we have now is a great start,” he said. “We hope the team can finish better.”
Regardless of the ending, however, the team has proven it can serve as a solid foundation for a revival program, one that has dominated the last two Southeast Asian Games. after being dominated by regional rivals in the past.
SEA Games: Gilas Women won another gold medal in basketball despite losing to Malaysia
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