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FIBA: Samoa sends Gilas Women’s U16 Div A dreams crashing down


Gilas Women’s under-16 team’s hopes of making it to Division A will have to wait for another cycle.

The young Filipinas were overwhelmed by Samoa in the semifinals of the 2022 FIBA Women’s Under-16 Asian Championship’s Division B, bowing 73-88, Wednesday at the Prince Hamza Sports Hall in Amman, Jordan.

After losing to Gilas 94-65 last June 26, the Samoans read the Philippines like a book in this one, stymieing the Filipinas’ speed and shooting.

The trio of Kira-May Filemu, Azaleeah Oloapu, and Sienna Tutani imposed their height and heft on Gilas in the first half, leading Samoa to a 53-30 halftime lead.

After the first 20 minutes of action, Oluapu and Tutani had already out-rebounded Gilas together, 21-15. Filemu, meanwhile, already tallied 20 points and nine rebounds.

Moreover, Gilas only shot 3-of-19 from deep during that span.

Oluapo gave Samoa its biggest lead of the game, 59-32, with 7:37 left in the third quarter.

The Filipinas tried to go on a late-game surge, cutting the lead 74-61 early in the final quarter. However, backbreakers by Filemu and Peata Manumaleuga sealed the final ticket for Samoa.

Frustration on the Gilas side reached its pitch when head coach Julie Amos was slapped with a technical foul with just 28.48 seconds left in the contest.

Gilas, who did not have lead point guard Kailah Oani in the game, went on a horrid 26-of-92 from the field.

Naomi Panganiban led the way with 15 points but shot just 5-of-15 from the field while Ava Fajardo got 14 points on 14 attempts.

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Leading scorer Kristan Yumul added 13 points but went just 5-of-20 from the field. Gabby Ramos was limited to eight points and eight rebounds, as well.

Filemu, Oloapu, and Tutani all had monster games for Samoa.

Filemu finished with a Division B-record 36 points — breaking the 33-point mark set by Yumul four days ago. She also grabbed 15 rebounds.

Oloapu, meanwhile, grabbed 19 rebounds and scored 18 points while Tutani produced a triple-double of 11 points, 18 rebounds, and 10 assists.

Gilas will look to salvage a bronze finish in the second-tier, facing the loser of the Syria-Lebanon game on Thursday.

The Scores:

Philippines 70 — Panganiban 15, Fajardo 14, Yumul 13, Ramos 8, Nolasco 8, Lopez 6, Patricio 4, Villarin 3, Medina 2, Elson 0, Nair 0.

Samoa 88 –– Filemu 36, Oloapu 18, Tutani 11, Manumaleuga 9, Keresoma 6, Hiko 4, Gasu 2, Talosaga 2, Brown 0, Kiliva 0, Hogben 0, Walshe 0.

Quarterscores: 18-25, 30-53, 53-72, 70-88.

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