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Tiebreaker Times

32nd SEA Games

SEA Games: Gilas Women oust 3×3 champ Thailand, punch last semis ticket

Gilas Women got the sweetest of paybacks after ousting Thailand from its reign, 14-8, to catch the last trip to the 32nd Southeast Asian Games 3×3 semifinals, Saturday at the Morodok Techo National Stadium in Phnom Penh, Cambodia.

Afril Bernardino and Mikka Cacho connived in crunch time to stave off the Thais. And they exacted vengeance against the very same team that dethroned the Philippines in the semis of last year’s competition in Vietnam.

By winning the virtual knockout, the Filipina dribblers finished as the no. 2 seed in Pool B (2-1), setting up a showdown with the hosts in the semis on Sunday.

Bernardino led Gilas with seven points. Janine Pontejos provided four points, Jack Animam chipped in two, and Cacho added one bucket.

It was Pontejos who guided the way in their early attack towards a 9-4 run, although the opposition scored four straight to get within a point.

But it would be their last hurrah, with Cacho stopping the drought for the Filipinas to make it a 10-8 count approaching the last three minutes.

Thailand could no longer find the mark afterwards, and Bernardino made matters worse for the erstwhile defending champions. She scored the final four points to seal their semis ticket – and, more importantly, keep the golden dream alive.

Gilas will be entering the semis on a hot two-game streak, which it built after losing to Vietnam in overtime, 21-19, in its opening assignment.

But the charges of Coach Patrick Aquino will be up against a Cambodia side that clinched the no. 1 seed in Pool B via a sweep following victories against Malaysia (22-10), Singapore (21-12), and Indonesia (14-13).

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Semis action begins at 10:00 AM (Philippine time), with Pool A’s best Vietnam (3-0) going up against Indonesia in a clash of last year’s silver and bronze winners.

Then, it would be the Gilas-Cambodia clash, with the former, of course, looking to reclaim the gold it last won back in 2019 in Manila.

Written By

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

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