Gillas Pilipinas girls split games in FIBA 3X3 U18 World Cup

The Gilas Pilipinas 3X3 U-18 women’s team split their opening assignments at the FIBA 3X3 U-18 World Cup on Monday at the Sükhbaatar Square in Ulaanbaatar, Mongolia.

A tough campaign opener against third-seeded France proved to be too much for the Filipinas, dropping a dismal 22-2 result against the European powerhouse.

Despite holding the French to just five points near the halfway point of the contest, the Gilas girls could not get anything going offensively. Overwhelmed by the French physicality, the Filipinas showed little resistance.

Ella Fajardo and Camille Clarin were the only two Filipinos to get on the scoreboard against France.

Head coach Patrick Aquino dug into the girls during the break between games. The women’s program director urged his players to play up to their level and reminded them that ‘this was not how they play’.

The tough words proved to be effective after the break, with the Philippines taking on hosts Mongolia for their final game of the opening day.

Despite Mongolia hitting a two-pointer at the start of the game, the Philippines battled back to steal the lead. The Filipinas stretched their advantage to 7-4 and refused to give Mongolia the leeway to claw their way back.

The hosts, could not douse the hot hands of Angel Surada and Clarin, as the pair scored seven and six, respectively. Fajardo joined in the party with five through a couple of two-point shots, and Karl Ann Pingol added on two.

According to the team, the heavy handed loss against France gave the Philippines a much-needed jolt.

“I think we really needed the first game to kind of wake us up, to see how the physicality is,” Fajardo said. “It is different to say ‘oh they are going to be physical’ rather than actually playing and feeling that they’re very physical.“

“That’s what we brought to the second game,” she added.

With the Philippines grouped with France, Czech Republic, the Netherlands, and Mongolia in Pool C, it was going to be difficult to qualify for the next round. Especially since only the top two teams will advance.

The Czech Republic and Netherlands also split their opening day games, which means that it will be a dog fight between the European nations and the Philippines to make it to the next round.

“Nothing easy, very tough teams,” Aquino said on Gilas’ next games.

“We have to go all-out again for them, you have to really guide these kids in their first time,” Aquino said. “They really have to learn a lot from the experience they are having here, and I am feeling pretty good that they would do their best tomorrow again.”

The Gilas Pilipinas team plays the Netherlands at 5:00PM on Wednesday, before taking on the Czech Republic later that evening.

Photo from the author