The Philippine national women's basketball team has lost two games in a row in the 2021 FIBA Women’s Asia Cup in Amman, Jordan, falling to China by 91 points and Australia by 64 points.

/ 29 September 2021

The game between Gilas women and world rank no. 7 China commenced last Monday night (Manila time), while the campaign against Australia began last Wednesday morning (Manila time).

Gilas Pilipinas struggled with China’s towering players, and even though Gilas had a strong scuffle in the first quarter, China easily drifted and finished the first quarter with an 18-point advantage.

The following quarters were all the same; despite Gilas’ attempts to narrow the deficit, each quarter ended at a double-digit score for the team, while China reached a triple-digit score at the third and last quarter.

As core players Clare Castro and Janine Pontejos fouled out late, Gilas’ recovery proved increasingly difficult.

Afril Bernardino’s performance was nevertheless noteworthy, as she scored a double-digit point total for the team, along with Pontejos’ seven points and debutant Ella Fajardo’s late run of six points.

The quarter scores were 35-17, 69-29, 108-38, 143-52.

Coach Pat Aquino said that there is a significant difference in skill and time preparation between the two contenders, and he expressed optimism for a bounce-back performance against Australia.

“The girls really tried their very hard and hopefully the next game, we’ll do better,” he said.

However, in the second game against Australia, Gilas was defeated again, although this time by a lower margin than in the first match against China.

Australia quickly seized control of the first quarter with a 16-2 advantage, but Gilas never surrendered and rose and regained the 12-point deficit, but Australia still had a 20-30 edge.

The successive quarters were a struggle for Gilas as they attempted to narrow the gap. Still, both quarters concluded with Australia ahead with half of the Gilas’ scores, 33-64 and 46-91 at the second and third quarters, respectively, in the second and third quarters.

Despite Pontejo’s ten-point effort in the last quarter, Australia was well ahead and finished the game with a 120-56 advantage.

Pontejos scored 13 points, Kristine Cayabyab scored ten, and Bernardino scored eight.

For now, Gilas will be facing its next competitor, Chinese Taipei, on Thursday (Manila time).