Gilas Women begin preparations for FIBA Women's Asia Cup

Camille B. Naredo, ABS-CBN News

Posted at Aug 24 2021 05:40 PM | Updated as of Aug 25 2021 02:33 PM

It's back to work for Afril Bernardino and the Gilas Women. FIBA. basketball
It's back to work for Afril Bernardino and the Gilas Women. FIBA. basketball

MANILA, Philippines -- The Philippine women's national basketball team is set to hold a training camp at the Inspire Sports Academy in Calamba, Laguna, in preparation for a major FIBA tournament in October.

The team, coached by Pat Aquino, will compete in the FIBA Women's Asia Cup 2021, scheduled for September 27 to October 3 in Amman, Jordan. 

The Gilas Women, which competes in Division A, will be up against China, Chinese-Taipei, India, Japan, Korea, and New Zealand. 

Twelve players have been invited to the bubble training camp, eight of whom were part of the team that won the 2019 Southeast Asian Games gold medal in Manila: Afril Bernardino, France Cabinbin, Khate Castillo, Clare Castro, Ria Nabalan, Janine Pontejos, Mar Prado, and Andrea Tongco.

Meanwhile, set to join them are Ella Fajardo, Karl Pingol, Kristine Cayabyab, and Camille Clarin.

It will be the 18-year-old Fajardo's debut for the Gilas Women after having represented the country in FIBA 3x3 events. The point guard is set to play for Division 1 school Fairleigh Dickinson University in New Jersey.

Clarin, Cayabyab, and Pingol will also play for the Philippines in the FIBA 3x3 Under-23 World Cup 2021, which is scheduled for October 11-15 in Ulaanbaatar, Mongolia. The team has yet to name a fourth player.

Expected to miss the FIBA Women's Asia Cup is SEA Games veteran Jack Animam, who will be playing professional basketball in Serbia. 

Aquino will be joined in the coaching staff by assistants Julie Amos and Ramon Garcia, trainer Ron Gorospe, physical therapist Rassel Urag, and utility personnel Leonardo Felisilda.