Gilas belles no match vs Chinese

John Bryan Ulanday - The Philippine Star
Gilas belles no match vs Chinese
Yang Liwei of China led the scoring for her team with 21 points

MANILA, Philippines — The Gilas Pilipinas women’s team is determined to wage a stronger fight against another giant in Australia after absorbing a 91-point beating at the hands of China late Monday night in the FIBA Women’s Asia Cup at the Prince Hamza Hall in Amman, Jordan.

With little to no breathing room following a 143-52 shellacking by world No. 7 China, the Filipina belles plunge back to action early this morning (Manila time), hoping to make good use of lessons learned from their first outing.

“The girls really tried hard. Hopefully in the next game (against Australia), we’ll do better,” said head coach Pat Aquino after the team’s first international outing since the 2019 SEA Games.

“There’s a lot of struggle at first but hopefully, they will get comfortable in the coming games. Hopefully, we could improve,” he said.

After going toe-to-toe with the Chinese in the early goings, the Nationals folded and succumbed to a massive 29-69 halftime hole en route to the forgettable defeat.

Only Afril Bernardino, with 17 points, hit double digits for Gilas with skipper Janine Pontejos and Clare Castro fouling out against stronger and bigger Chinese foes led by 6-foot-9 ace Xu Han.

Against world No. 3 Australia, Gilas isn’t about to back down.

“Coach Pat said that we played our hardest, but I know for a fact that we have more to bring,” said US NCAA standout Ella Fajardo, who had six points in her Gilas debut.

Australia prevailed over Chinese Taipei, 76-65, in its first match in Group B play.

In Group A, reigning champion Japan and South Korea smothered India, 136-46, and New Zealand, 85-69, respectively.

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