By: Leobert Julian A. de la Peña
Filipino athletes in the Southeast Asian Games continue to make history as the Philippine women’s basketball team won their first ever gold medal.
After numerous years of patiently waiting to nab the championship title, the Gilas Pilipinas women trounced Thailand, 91-71, to finally raise the PH flag and declare themselves as the queens of SEAG hoops.
Facing a veteran and well-composed Thai team, the Gilas women fired from all cylinders and showed the 2017 silver medalists that they deserve to be at the pedestal.
A once tightly-contested match blew wide open at the start of the third as the Gilas women were in high-octane mode, torching the Thais in fast breaks.
From 52-48, the 4-point Gilas lead ballooned to a 15-point lead, 63-48, behind the hot and trigger-ready Jack Animam, scoring 8 of her 21 points in the wild third quarter stretch that provided the cushion for the PH squad.
Afril Bernardino also delivered in the gold medal game, doing it all for her squad to grab the coveted title, filling up the stat sheet with 10 points, 14 huge boards, 2 rejections, and 5 dimes.
Pat Aquino, the Gilas Women head coach, showed his emotions after leading the team to the first-ever gold in the history of the Philippine women’s basketball in SEAG.
“I’m just so happy for the girls, for what they achieved. Now, we hope na mapansin niyo na kami,” he said.