Gilas Women clobber Indonesia for winning start to SEA Games title defense

Camille B. Naredo, ABS-CBN News

Posted at May 16 2022 12:03 PM | Updated as of May 16 2022 03:03 PM

Camille Clarin and the Gilas Women are off to a winning start in the 31st SEA Games. File photo.
Camille Clarin and the Gilas Women are off to a winning start in the 31st SEA Games. File photo.

(2nd UPDATE) The Gilas Pilipinas Women used a big third quarter to pull away from Indonesia en route to an impressive 93-77 victory on Monday morning at the Thanh Trì District Sporting Hall in Hanoi, Vietnam.

It was a promising start to the Filipinas' campaign in the 31st Southeast Asian Games, where they are seeking to retain the gold medal that they won in 2019 in Manila.

After settling for a slim 40-38 lead at the half, the Filipinas outscored Indonesia, 32-19, in the pivotal third quarter to seize control of the contest.

Veteran Afril Bernardino led the charge for the Filipinas with 16 points, nine rebounds, four steals, and three blocks in 29 minutes, while Janine Pontejos had 15 points. Camille Clarin had 11 points, and Gilas Women debutants Stefanie Berberabe and Gabriel Bade combined for 15 points.

Chack Cabinbin dished out seven assists to go with her eight points and two steals. 

"They played so hard. What can I ask for," said head coach Patrick Aquino. "That's what we've been working on for the last couple of months. Hopefully, we can sustain that."

"I'm just happy that they were doing their best. Talagang sobrang saya ko sa kanila," he added.

The Filipinas gave up an and-1 to Indonesia's Claresta Nathania in the final second of the first half to take a 40-38 lead into the break. But they came out with renewed focus in the third quarter, as Clarin got them off to a fast start.

A triple by Khate Castillo gave the Gilas Women their first double-digit lead, 53-41, with 6:19 to play in the period. Nathania did the heavy lifting on offense to keep Indonesia within striking distance, but free throws by Bernardino and Angelica Surada helped the Filipinas stay comfortably ahead.

The Philippines' lead reached 17 points, 79-62, with 6:41 to play off a putback by Surada. The Indonesians got no closer than 12 points down the stretch, as Pontejos put the finishing touches on the victory.

The Gilas Women shot 47% from the field, and had 21 assists on the day. They forced Indonesia into 22 turnovers that they translated to 23 points.

Nathania led Indonesia with 19 points, and Antonia Clarita had 12 points.

Up next for the Gilas Women is Thailand on Wednesday.

The scores:

Philippines 93 - Bernardino 16, Pontejos 15, Bade 11, Clarin 11, Cabinbin 8, Surada 6, Guytingco 6, Castillo 5, Castro 5, Berberabe 4, Tongco 4, Fajardo 2. 

Indonesia 77 - Claresta 19, Antonio 12, Pierre-Louis 11, Dewi 9, Adelaide 8, Agustin 7, Sutjiono 6, Lestari 3, Sophia 2, Anggraeni 0, Putri 0.

Quarters: 17-17, 40-38, 72-57, 93-77.