Gilas women raring to go in FIBA Asia Cup
MANILA, Philippines – The Gilas Pilipinas women squad is ready to go, banking on huge improvement and fine chemistry despite a short preparation time in a bid to slay some giants in the 2021 FIBA Women’s Asia Cup in Amman, Jordan Monday.
“We have improved a lot. Our goal in the bubble was to get our rhythm back and build chemistry (and we achieved that),” coach Pat Aquino told The STAR ahead of their gigantic duels with Australia, China and Chinese Taipei in the stacked Group B.
Aquino, who also serves as the national team program director, was referring to their limited yet productive training camp under a bubble set-up at the Summit Point Golf and Country Club in Lipa, Batangas earlier this month before heading to Jordan.
That was the Nationals' first assembly in almost two years since last playing in the 2019 Southeast Asian Games held here.
They arrived in Amman Wednesday and have cleared quarantine protocols for one last full practice yesterday before entering the event bubble today.
“The girls are ready to compete,” added Aquino as Gilas parades international 5-on-5 tourney debutants Ella Fajardo, Camille Clarin, Kristine Cayabyab and Karl Ann Pingol.
Seasoned anchor Jack Animam is out this time due to her Serbian pro league stint but Aquino is counting on the leadership of eight more veterans led by captain Janine Pontejos and Afril Bernardino.
The Nationals plunge into action against China on Monday followed by matches against Australia and Chinese Taipei on Wednesday and Thursday, respectively, to cap off their preliminary schedule.
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