(UPDATED) Afril Bernardino led the way as the Gilas Pilipinas Women overpowered Thailand, 97-81, for their second consecutive victory in the 31st Southeast Asian Games on Wednesday morning.
Bernardino was one rebound short of a double-double by halftime at the Thanh Tri Gymnasium, as the Filipinas used their swarming pressure defense to pull away from the Thais.
The Gilas Women, looking to defend the gold medal they won in 2019 at home, moved to 2-0 in the competition. The women's basketball event in the 31st SEA Games is a round-robin competition, with the team with the most wins claiming the gold.
Bernardino finished with 20 points, making eight of her 10 shots, along with 16 rebounds, three steals, and three blocks in just 22 minutes of playing time.
Stefanie Berberabe and Katrina Guytingco each had 10 points, as the Gilas Women out-rebounded Thailand, 58-39, and scored 16 points off their opponents' 18 turnovers.
Thailand closed to within two points in the second quarter, 27-25, off a layup by Sriharaksa Yada, prompting a timeout by Gilas coach Pat Aquino.
The Filipinas responded with a 12-2 run, with Berberabe, Chack Cabinbin, Janine Pontejos, and Gabi Bade nailing three-pointers to push their lead to 12 points, 39-27, midway through the second period.
It was all Philippines from there, and their lead eventually reached 25 points, 88-63, off a Bernardino layup with 5:42 left.
Some late turnovers by the Filipinas got Thailand within 17 points, but their final charge proved too little, too late.
The Gilas Women shot 43% from the field and had 17 more field goals than Thailand. Their 25 offensive rebounds led to 28 second chance points.
The Philippines will be back in action on Thursday afternoon against hosts Vietnam.
Philippines (97) - Bernardino 20, Berberabe 10, Guytingco 10, Bade 9, Cabinbin 9, Castro 9, Pontejos 7, Castillo 7, Tongco 7, Fajardo 6, Surada 3, Clarin 0.
Thailand (81) - Lumdabpang 14, Sriharaksa 13, Maihom 13, Kitraksa 12, Jantakan 11, Udomsuk 8, Thuamon 5, Bunsinprom 2, Supyen 2, Yothanan 1, Prajuapsook 0, Kaichayafoom 0.
Quarterscores: 22-16, 57-40, 80-59, 97-81.