Castro up to tall task against bigger centers in FIBA Women’s Asia Cup
MANILA, Philippines — The Gilas Pilipinas women's team will be facing a tall task — literally and figuratively — when the 2021 FIBA Women's Asia Cup unfurls Monday in Amman, Jordan.
This as the Philippines will be facing opponents that are not only higher in the FIBA World Rankings, but also larger than them in terms of height.
With 6'4" Clare Castro as the only legitimate center in the lineup, Gilas has an average height of 5'8".
Yet they will go up against China, Australia, and Chinese Taipei, who all have bigger average heights among their players.
The biggest disparity is against China, whose players norm around 6'1".
But Castro isn't backing down. And while she acknowledges the pressure of the competition, she is set on doing everything to contribute for the team.
"Meron po talagang pressure kasi I'm the only one na matangkad sa team," Castro, 24, said.
"[Pero] lahat naman po ng teams nakaka excite kalaban. Kasi sila po yung tough teams sa level na ito," she added.
Castro is usually joined by the likes of 6'2" Jack Animam, and 6-footers Kelli hayes and Danica Jose in the national team, composing the center rotation for head coach Pat Aquino.
But with Animam in Serbia for her pro career, and Hayes hung up due to quarantine restrictions, it all rests now on Castro's shoulders.
The player out of FEU looks to do her best though, despite having the odds stacked against her.
"Gusto ko lang po maka-contribute sa team at magawa yung pinapagawa ng coaches sa akin," said Castro.
Hostilities begin for Gilas women on Monday, September 27, at 9:00 p.m., Manila time.
They go up against China first.
Games against Australia and Chinese Taipei are pencilled in for midnight on September 29 and 30, respectively (Manila time).
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