Gilas women keep medal hopes high

John Bryan Ulanday - The Philippine Star
Gilas women keep medal hopes high
Members of the Gilas Pilipinas women’s squad are joined by Blackwater and Ever Bilena owner Dioceldo Sy (fifth from left) during yesterday’s media presentation.
Jun Mendoza

MANILA,Philippines — After a series of heartbreaks, the more experienced Gilas women’s squad is determined to get over the hump when it vies for the country’s first women’s basketball gold medal in the Southeast Asian Games.

Coach Pat Aquino assured the Nationals’ readiness for that noble mission especially coming off solid preparations that included participations in three major Asian tournaments this year.

For him, the experience that they have acquired through those competitions against Asia’s best teams should be enough to boost their bid to hoist the biennial meet trophy -- at last.

“Those are good for us coming into the SEA Games. After competing against the best in Asia, I think we’re much ready this time so hopefully we can win that elusive gold,” said Aquino in the official SEA Games launch yesterday hosted by longtime backer Blackwater at The Sulo Riviera Hotel in QC.

With the help of the Dioceldo Sy-led Ever Bilena, the Phl cagebelles were blessed by their most productive SEA Games build-up in history, highlighted by stints in the the Women’s Jones Cup in Taiwan and the FIBA Women’s Asia Cup in India.

Last week, the Nationals came off a campaign in the FIBA Asia-Oceania Pre-Olympic Qualifying Tournament held in New Zealand that served as their last preparation for the regional sports spectacle slated Nov. 30-Dec. 11.

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