Gilas women's team bows to New Zealand in pre-Olympic qualifying tilt


Posted at Nov 14 2019 04:34 PM

Afril Bernardino's 17 points led the Philippines in a losing effort. FIBA

The Philippines' bid in the 2019 women's Olympic pre-qualifying tournament got off to a poor start.

This, as New Zealand clobbered the Gilas Pilipinas Women, 111-54, at The Trusts Arena in Auckland on Thursday afternoon.

The Filipinas kept it close after the first frame, 24-17, but the host team exploded for 36 points in the second quarter to break the game wide open. New Zealand took a 60-28 lead at the half, and never looked back.

Former National University star Afril Bernardino led the Philippines with 17 points, while Janine Pontejos had 14 points but made just 4-of-14 shots from the field. Kelli Hayes had 10 points on 4-of-12 shooting.

The Philippines struggled with New Zealand's size, as they were beaten badly on the glass, 61-25. New Zealand shot over 54% from the field, while the Filipinas were just at 31.25%.

The tournament serves as the pre-qualifier for Asia and Oceania to next year's FIBA women's Olympic qualifying tournaments (OQT).

The Philippines is grouped with China, South Korea, and New Zealand in Group A, and only the top two teams will get berths to the OQT.

Tessa Boagni topscored for New Zealand with 16 points.

Gilas will play South Korea on Saturday.

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