As they say, third time’s the charm.
In their third meeting in two months, Gilas Pilipinas Girls 3×3 finally cracked the China puzzle, picking up a 14-11 win to win bronze in the 2019 FIBA 3×3 Under-18 Asia Cup, Saturday afternoon in Cyberjaya, Malaysia.
This is the Philippines’ best finish in the history of the youth continental meet in the girls division.
And this was all made possible by the combined efforts of the young Filipinas.
Knotted at 11-all with 55 ticks left, Kristine Cayabyab cleaned up Ella Fajardo’s miss for the go-ahead basket.
Wary of China’s firepower, Gilas clogged the passing lanes as Camille Clarin was able to force a jumpball against Xianglin Wu. Then in the next possession, Angelica Surada was able to pickpocket Yingjie Chen before getting China’s seventh foul.
Surada calmly sank both free throws to give the Philippines a 14-11 lead with 25.6 seconds left.
The Filipinas then zoned in on the Chinese, forcing Wu to an ill-advised deuce as time expired.
Euphoria followed soon after, as the OFWs and locals watching inside the King Henry VIII gym rained cheers on the young squad.
Surada and Cayabyab led the way for Gilas with five markers each while Clarin added three points.
This same batch of Gilas Girls lost to China twice in their first two outings — a 12-21 loss during the quarterfinals of the World Cup and a 14-16 defeat during pool play last Thursday.
Mao Zhang, who scored nine points against them to open the tournament, was limited to just one point. Wu paced China with five markers.
Philippines 14 – Surada 5, Cayabyab 5, Clarin 3, Fajardo 1.
China 11 – Wu 5, Chen 4, Li 1, Zhang 1.