Powerhouse team after powerhouse team, Perlas Pilipinas struggled to keep up with the talent in Division A of FIBA Asia. But the Filipinas, steered by multi-titled mentor Patrick Aquino, did not let years of hard work go to waste, romping the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea, 78-63, Saturday afternoon in the Sree Kanteerava Indoor Stadium, Bangalore, India.
North Korea was the lowest ranked team in the tournament so a loss by Perlas would have relegated them back to Division B after being promoted to Division A just two years ago.
Perlas Pilipinas ended its campaign with a 1-5 slate. But with this new lease of life in Division A, this team, backed by Ever Bilena, will have a chance to grow together before the next edition of the tournament in 2019.
Allana Lim led the Philippine-side with 18 points on an efficient 8-for-10 shooting clip while Cindy Resultay finished with a double-double with 10 points and 10 rebounds.
After taking an 18-13 lead in the opening frame, Perlas raced to a 23-0 run, capped by a Gemma Miranda jumper to gain a commanding 32-13 lead midway through the second quarter.
Jack Animam played her best game of the tournament with 10 points and eight rebounds. Annalyn Almazan added 13 points.
Perlas would lead by as much as 27 points in the final frame, 68-41, after a Lim jumper with 8:50 left in the game. The lead would only go to as low as 18 points as Perlas cruised to the finish.
France Cabinbin glued things together for Perlas by dishing out eight assists.
Kim Mi Hyang paced North Korea with 20 points, spiked by six threes.
Perlas Pilipinas 78 – Lim 16, Almazan 13, Resultay 10, Animam 10, Bernardino 8, Miranda 7, Cabinbin 6, Pontejos 6, Sambile 2, Dy 0, Tongco 0.
North Korea 63 – Kim M. 20, Ro 7, Kim H. 13, Kim R. 7, Kim U. 2, Ri 2, Jang 2, Kim H. 0.
Quarterscores: 18-13, 47-23, 64-39, 78-63.
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