“A GOOD VICTORY FOR US,” SAYS PAT AQUINO AS GILAS WOMEN SEALS SPOT IN FIBA ASIA DIVISION A
Despite an arduous campaign, Pat Aquino was just proud and relieved that Gilas Pilipinas Women stayed in Division A of the 2021 Fiba Women's Asia Cup.
Coming to Jordan as heavy underdogs and only undergoing one month of training under Aquino’s guidance, Gilas Women broke their three-game skid in the tournament over a hard-earned 74-70 victory against India while also settling a spot in the Level A rankings of Fiba.
“I’m just so happy. I’m very, very happy with the girls. They didn’t stop competing,” Aquino expressed.
The Filipinas almost suffered a winless stint in the continental tournament and their match against India was a do-or-die label in which if they lose they will relegate to Level II.
But a different story went through for the Gilas Women, keeping them among the top teams in Fiba Asia at least until 2023.
Gilas Women absorbed tough losses in Group B as it got an average losing margin of 65.3 points, in which they fell to world no. 7 China by 91 points, 143-52; by 64 points to world no. 3 Australia, 120-56; and by 41 points to Chinese Taipei, 93-52.
“I know for the past three games we were struggling definitely, but today I know they played together and as a team. It was a good victory for us,” said Aquino.
“I’m really so happy being here and competing with the girls. Us bringing them out here even with all those bubble trainings and coming here, I’m just so proud of the girls,” he added.
For Aquino, this is just the beginning for the girls and he is hopeful that the Filipina squad will gain more support in order to sustain the program’s continued development.
“Hopefully, more sponsors would come in and help us grow more. I think with that, we’ll be more competitive in the coming tournaments,” he averred.