Gilas Women bid their medal hopes goodbye after bowing to powerhouse South Korea, 93-71, in the 19th Asian Games basketball quarterfinals, Monday night at the Shaoxing Olympic Sports Centre Gymnasium in Zhejiang, China.
The Filipina dribblers actually scored the game’s first five points but it didn’t take long for SoKor to take over, eventually booking a return trip to the semis — and keeping their aspirations of winning title no. 5 very much alive as well.
Coach Pat Aquino and Co. ended their campaign with back-to-back double-digit losses, but there’s no denying that it was still a solid run overall for a program that came back to the continental conclave following a 25-year absence.
Khate Castillo led the Philippine team with a game-high 18 points, all of which came from the six three-pointers she drilled.
Jack Animam delivered another double-double with 15 points and 14 rebounds, along with three assists, two steals, and a block in 34 minutes.
Afril Bernardino tallied 12 points, three rebounds, five assists, and two steals as the veteran trio led the way for the Nationals once more.
South Korea, on the other hand, were led by its star tandem of Kang Lee-seul and Park Ji-su. The two finished with 15 points apiece.
Kang and Park bannered the key 15-4 tally towards a 41-25 lead with under three minutes to go in the second quarter to start the breakaway.
Park Ji-hyun supplied 14 points and eight rebounds. while Shin Ji-hyun went a perfect 4-of-4 from beyond the arc to finish with 12 points.
The South Koreans will face another contender in Japan in the semis. The Japanese earned their ticket by crushing Indonesia, 87-49.
It would be a battle of unbeaten teams as both the East Asian squads are coming into Tuesday’s affair in the midst of a fiery four-game winning streak.
South Korea (93) – Kang 15, Park JS 15, Park JH 14, Shin 12, Jin 7, Lee 7, Kim 6, Lee 5, Kang 5, Yang 4, An 3, Lee 0.
Philippines (71) – Castillo 18, Animam 15, Bernardino 12, Cabinbin 7, Ozar 6, Pontejos 6, Berberabe 4, Guytingco 2, del Carmen 1, Tongco 0, Cacho 0, Nolasco 0.
Quarterscores: 23-13, 46-32, 70-55, 93-71.