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Gilas Girls one win away from promotion after dominant semis triumph over Samoa


SHENZHEN – Gilas Girls moved a win away from promotion after advancing to the FIBA U18 Women’s Asia Cup 2023-Division B Final following a 71-47 victory over Samoa in the semis, Saturday at the Futian Sports Park here.

The Philippines went off to a hot start before breaking away for good in the fourth they went on to give the program a shot at redemption after falling short of reaching Division A during the 2022 competitions in Bengaluru, India.

Back then, the crew ran roughshod in the Group Phase, only to get beaten by eventual champions Malaysia in a down-the-wire semis battle.

Now, though, the present-day squad of Coach Julie Amos have shown how much they have learned from it, beating anew the Samoans — a team that had caused pain to Gilas as well back in the U16 Women’s Asian Championship.

Four players finished in double figures in the win, with Ava Fajardo leading the way with 19 points on three treys, four rebounds, two assists, and two steals.

2024-FIBA-U18-Asian-Championship-Gilas-def-Samoa-Ava-Fajardo Gilas Girls one win away from promotion after dominant semis triumph over Samoa Basketball Gilas Pilipinas News  - philippine sports news

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Naomi Panganiban submitted a full line of 12 points, five rebounds, two assists, four steals, and a block. The tandem of Sophia Canindo and Alicia Villanueva added 11 points apiece and combined for 14 rebounds.

The quartet were key in giving the Philippines a 17-5 first-quarter lead, and would be responsible as well in putting the game out of reach.

After Samoa pulled to within just five during the third quarter, Gabby Ramos hit a triple before Fajardo, Panganiban, and Villanueva came in to help out and give themselves a 49-37 lead just before the canto concluded.

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Gilas will now wait for the winner of the other semis bracket between Iran and Lebanon for its opponent in the Final, which is set on Sunday, June 30.

Mylaani Sione, on the other hand, had 18 points and eight rebounds to lead Samoa in the defeat that prolonged their wait for a promotion.

Kira-May Filemu backed her up with 12 points and 17 rebounds, together with four assists, three steals, and a block in yet another all-around effort.

The Scores:

Philippines 71 – Fajardo 19, Panganiban 12, Villanueva 11, Canindo 11, Ramos 9, Duenas 3, Rodriguez 2, Impreso 2, Abong 2, Lapasaran 0, Reyes 0, Quinte 0.

Samoa 47 – Sione 18, Filemu 12, Reupena 6, Manumaleuga 3, Hiko 2, Afualo 2, Au 2, Ah-Ken 0, Vickerman 0, Ah Hoy 0.

Quarterscores: 17-5, 31-23, 49-39, 71-47.

Written By

Oftentimes on the sidelines. Forever a student of the game. Morayta-bred.


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