Gilas Women marked its return to the Asian Games basketball competitions in emphatic fashion following an 83-59 beatdown of Kazakhstan, Wednesday evening at the Shaoxing Olympic Sports Centre Gymnasium in Zhejiang, China.
The Filipina dribblers outscored their counterparts, 23-9, in the second period to establish a 40-26 lead at the half, and never let up since as the program showed how much it missed being in the continental tilt since last competing in 1998.
Janine Pontejos bannered the assault with 21 points, all of which she collected from beyond the arc in only 16 minutes of action.
Khate Castillo produced 15 points, while Jack Animam registered a double-double of 12 points and 13 rebounds in 13 minutes of play.
Afril Bernardino did a little bit of everything with 11 points, five rebounds, two assists, and two steals for a plus-minus rating of 24 as all but two players of Coach Pat Aquino scored at least two points in the triumph.
The Philippines drilled a total of 13 triples to shoot its way into Group B co-leadership with Japan, who beat Hong Kong earlier, 118-46.
It will be Gilas’ (1-0) turn to face Hong Kong (0-1) on Friday at 1:30 p.m. looking to chalk up its second win in a row.
Tamara Kuzmina and Anna Bezgodova, meanwhile, finished with 12 points apiece for Kazakhstan. Daria Koroleva added 11 in the loss.
Philippines (83) – Pontejos 21, Castillo 15, Animam 12, Bernardino 11, Berberabe 8, Cabinbin 7, Del Carmen 3, Tongco 2, Cacho 2, Ozar 2, Guytingco 0, Nolasco 0.
Kazakhstan (59) – Kuzmina 12, Bezgodova 12, Koroleva 11, Gavrilyuk 8, Bagmet 6, Ilyassova 4, Alishauska 3, Nurbayeva 3, Umerova 0, Astapenko 0, Yakovleva 0, Gammer 0.
Quarterscores: 17-17, 40-26, 60-41, 83-59.