Gilas Pilipinas Women bounced back strong from a 21-point loss to Indonesia by crushing Vietnam, 116-58, Saturday at the Elephant Hall 2 of the Morodok Techno National Stadium in Phnom Penh, Cambodia.
It was a bittersweet victory for the Filipinas since the defeat to the Indonesians the day before virtually eliminated them from the gold medal race.
The only way for Gilas Women to reclaim the gold is if Indonesia, which had earlier won over Malaysia, Vietnam and Thailand, drops its remaining matches to bottom-dwellers Singapore and Cambodia – a scenario which is highly improbable.
The Philippine national women’s basketball team nonetheless improved to 3-1 and will close out its 2023 SEA Games campaign against Thailand on May 14 and Malaysia on the 15th.
Khate Castillo paced the squad with 22 points highlighted by 7 of the team’s 18 three-pointers. Jack Animam came through a double-double performance of 16 points and 13 rebounds while frontcourt partner Clare Castro had 15 points and 6 boards.
Afril Bernardino contributed 12 points and 6 rebounds while Janine Pontejos and Camille Clarin drained 3 treys each and similarly finished with 11 markers.
Coach Pat Aquino’s charges shot a high 52% from the field compared to only 30% for their opponents.