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Gilas Women soar to FIBA Asia U18 Division A


SHENZHEN – Progress has long been the goal of Gilas Women Youth and the present batch of Filipina hoopers showed again that it is being achieved.

The Philippine team on Sunday ruled Division B of the FIBA U18 Women’s Asia Cup 2024 following a masterful 95-64 conquest of Lebanon in the Final at the Futian Sports Park here for yet another milestone in the last 11 months.

It could be recalled that the Gilas Girls swept Division B of the 2023 FIBA U16 Women’s Asian Championship in Jordan, including an 80-63 win over Iran in the finale, to earn the promotion to Division A and begin competing there in 2025.

Now, the program of Coach Pat Aquino accomplished as much in the U18, meaning that they will be competing in the top-flight level in 2026.

Alyssa Rodriguez top-scored in the victory with 22 points, 17 of which she made in the first half alone that saw Gilas break the game wide open by scoring 33 in the second quarter to establish a 53-26 lead entering the break.

The Lebanese were held to just nine points in that frame and they would never recover, soon witnessing their Division A hopes fade against the very same team that beat them back in the Group Phase just last Tuesday, 89-63.

2024-FIBA-Womens-Asia-Div-B-Gilas-def-Lebanon Gilas Women soar to FIBA Asia U18 Division A Basketball Gilas Pilipinas News  - philippine sports news

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Alicia Villanueva produced 15 points. Naomi Panganiban made 13 points, while Ava Fajardo and Sophia Canindo chipped in 10 points apiece.

Fajardo and Canindo, as well as Aubrey Laparasan, were also part of that special Gilas U16 team that dominated Amman back in July last year.

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The Philippines went unbeaten in this sprawling Chinese city (4-0), more than making up for the heartbreak the previous batch suffered in the 2022 U18 Women’s Asian Championship-Division B in Bengaluru, India.

Back then, Coach Pat Aquino’s wards swept their way into the semifinals, only to lose to eventual champions Malaysia in the semifinals.

The present-day crew made sure that it won’t happen again. After going 2-0 in the group stage, they then dominated an old foe in Samoa in the semis to reach the Last Dance, and they would never let the opportunity slip away.

Lebanon, on the other hand, was led by Reem Ghali with 31 points and 15 rebounds as she tried to carry the team on her shoulders. Meygan Naassan was her lone support with 19 points, five rebounds, and six assists in the loss.

The Scores:

Philippines 95 – Rodriguez 22, Villanueva 15, Panganiban 13, Canindo 10, Fajardo 10, Duenas 8, Impreso 7, Lapasaran 5, Reyes 3, Ramos 2, Abong 0, Quinte 0.

Lebanon 64 – El Ghali 31, Naassan 19, Hoteit 8, Barakat M. 2, Ajami 2, Al Nakib 1, Jaoude 1, Mosleh 0, Barakat N. 0, Bado 0, Faraj 0.

Quarterscores: 20-17, 53-26, 80-46, 95-64.

Written By

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


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