Pinay dribblers eye elusive gold vs Thais
Olmin Leyba (The Philippine Star) - December 10, 2019 - 12:00am

MANILA, Philippines — Gilas Pilipinas women sets out to finally come out of the shadows of its more illustrious male counterparts when it battles Thailand for the SEA Games gold medal tonight at the MOA Arena.

The Pinay cagebelles, whose best finish in the biennial meet since 1977 was a silver (achieved six times), put themselves in play for the elusive gold after dethroning SEA Games champion Malaysia last Sunday, 81-75, for a tie with the Thais at the helm with 2-0.

The hosts and the Thais face off at 6 p.m. to dispute the No. 1 standing and the vacant crown.

“This is what we’ve worked so hard for. Let’s not put it to waste,” said coach Pat Aquino, who expects the best from his charges against a tough Thai opponent.

Fresh from their victory in the inaugural 3x3 event last week, the Gilas cagebelles are on track to contend for the 5x5 tiara as well.

They kicked things off with a 63-56 victory over Indonesia, getting back at the same rival who nosed them out of the podium in the last edition of the biennial event, earning enough momentum and confidence for their next assignment against Malaysia.

The home squad followed it up with a herculean effort against the three-peat-seeking Malaysians, which paid off with the six-point stunner that set up this winner-take-all with the five-time champ Thais.

“Wow, what a game. We were down by six or seven in the last five minutes or so but they never gave up. They found a way to win that game,” Aquino exclaimed after the Malaysia game.

“It doesn’t end here. There’s one more crucial game to play and hopefully we sustain our momentum.”

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