MANILA, Philippines – Perlas Pilipinas was promoted to Division 1 of the FIBA Asia women’s championships after turning back India, 82-76, on Friday in Wuhan, China.
The Filipinas, who wrapped their Wuhan stint with five wins against one defeat, are now qualified to compete against the likes of China, Japan, South Korea and Chinese Taipei when they return in the 2017 FIBA joust.
Afril Bernardino led Perlas with 32 points on 14-for-18 field goal shooting against their Indian counterparts. She also tallied five rebounds, five assists and five steals.
Allana Lim added to the Philippine side’s firepower with a 20-point burst to go with her nine rebounds.
The Filipinas were trailing the Indians, 24-16, in the second quarter when Bernardino instigated a run that wiped out the deficit.
By the time they reached the fourth quarter, Perlas was already up, 65-53.
The Indians battled within three points in the fourth period, but the Pinays were able to hold them off.
Jeen Skaria topscored India with 28 points.
Perlas Pilipinas patron Dioceldo Sy of Blackwater said the team’s march to the Division 1 level attests to the Filipinas “commitment to flag and country”.
“Ang bigat talaga ng ginawa ng Perlas. I was monitoring the game here (in Manila) and sa totoo lang, iba yung spirit at puso ng mga players,” Sy said in Richard Dy’s report to Philstar.com.
Sy also commended team coach Patrick Aquino for working out a suitable system for the shorthanded and diminutive Perlas squad.
“We’re undermanned and under din sa height, but you can see that our women’s team played with pure guts, and that’s a credit to coach Pat kasi naayos niya yung system kaya anybody in the team is a threat,” he said.