Gilas Pilipinas Women’s suffered a huge blow a week before the 30th Southeast Asian Games.
One of the team’s mainstays Gemma Miranda was diagnosed with a torn left anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) Tuesday. With this, the 5-foot-8 guard/forward will be out for the regional meet slated to begin on December 5 at the SM Mall of Asia Arena.
“I feel for Gemma kasi she really wanted this,” said national team head coach Patrick Aquino.
“She is definitely a big loss because besides her production, she is also one of our leaders.”
The injury occurred during one of the legs of SBP 3×3 last month.
For the past two years, the UAAP Season 79 Finals Most Valuable Player has been one of the rocks of Aquino’s program. This would also have been her first SEA Games appearance.
“First SEA Games ko sana ito eh. Gustong-gusto ko pa naman maglaro rito, mas lalo na tayo ‘yung host,” lamented the 24-year-old product of National University.
“Iba yung feeling na dala mo yung flag natin. Mas lalong iba yung pakiramdam maglaro sa harap ng ating kababayan.”
With this predicament, Aquino is asking the Philippine Southeast Asian Games Committee to allow him to replace Miranda with Adamson stalwart Mar Prado. Prado is not part of the initial pool submitted by the Samahang Basketbol ng Pilipinas.
“If we are following FIBA’s rulebook, we have seven days before the competition to make final changes to our final lineup,” said Aquino.
“Sana we are allowed to make this change.”
Back in Season 75, Miranda tore her right ACL.
The rest of the lineup are Jack Animam, Afril Bernardino, Janine Pontejos, Clare Castro, Eunique Chan, Chack Cabinbin, Kelli Hayes, Danica Jose, Ria Joy Nabalan, Andrea Tongco, and Khate Castillo.
Back in 2017, the Philippines did not make it to the podium in the tournament held in Kuala Lumpur. The team is looking to win its first gold in the event.
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