Even if they are already assured of a spot in the main draw of the 2019 FIBA 3X3 Asia Cup, Gilas Pilipinas Women’s 3×3 did not let up in their final outing of the qualifiers.
Behind Janine Pontejos’ lights-out shooting, the Philippines blasted the hapless Vanuatu, 22-5, Thursday afternoon in Changsha, China.
The win completed Gilas Women’s dominant 3-0 sweep of the qualifiers’ Pool A. They advance to the tournament proper on Friday, May 23.
Wanting a streak, the troika of Pontejos, Afril Bernardino, and Jack Animam surged to an 8-2 start in the first two minutes of the contest.
After a Frances Izono bucket, Clare Castro did not allow Vanuatu to score for a good three minutes and eight seconds. On the other end, beautiful ball movement from the Patrick Aquino-mentored squad led to an imposing 15-3 lead with 4:52 left.
Pontejos then took charge, scoring six of the last seven points of Gilas, including a long deuce with three minutes remaining for match point.
The 2018 FIBA 3X3 World Cup Shootout champion finished with 11 points, built on four deuces. Bernardino added six markers.
Pauline Malanga had three points to lead the 0-3 Vanuatu.
The Filipinas will next face Japan at 4:30 pm and Sri Lanka at 5:40 pm in Pool C. The top two teams in this pool will advance to the knockout playoffs on Saturday.
Philippines 22 – Pontejos 11, Bernardino 6, Castro 3, Animam 2.
Vanuatu 5 – Malanga 3, Patterson 1, Izono 1, Malverus 0.