Pinay ballers drop opening match against Thais
Mark Escarlote on Jun 09, 2015 12:48 PM
The PHI national women’s team dropped their all-important opening match against Thailand.
SINGAPORE --- The national women’s team may have just yielded the basketball gold to Thailand.
The Filipinas made a heroic effort in the fourth quarter to crawl back from an eight point hole they dug themselves only to lose steam in the final five minutes and watch the defending champion Thais virtually walk away with the mint in a 62-57 win at the OCBC Arena Hall 1 here Tuesday morning.
Afril Bernardino paced the Pinays with 19 points and eight rebounds while Camille Sambile and center Analyn Almazan scored eight points each.
Trailing 43-35 at the end of the third quarter, the Pinay ballers shifted into high gear on their defense forcing turnovers with their full court trap with a 9-0 run capped by a left-handed driving floater by Far Eastern University star Sambile to take the lead, 44-43, with 7:44 remaining in the payoff period.
But their position in the driver’s seat was short live as the Thais regrouped to build a 57-50 lead with less than two minutes remaining.
It didn’t help that former UAAP Most Valuable Player Almazan, who grabbed 15 baords, fouled out with 5:13 remaining in the game with the Pinays down, 46-50.
“Lack of intensity sa second quarter kaya nawala tayo,” bared PHI head coach Patrick Aquino, whose wards scored only eight points in the second quarter to enter the half behind, 23-32.
“But they didn’t give up. They tried to win the game but the breaks of the game went to the Thais,” he added.
Juthamas Jantakan is just a rebound shy of a double-double after scoring 20 points while Phenphan Yothanan finished with 17 for Thailand, now four more wins away to retain their title.
The tournament is played using a single round robin format where the top team in the six-nation field after five games will win the gold medal. Any tie in the final standing will be decided by quotient.
The PHI team will take on Vietnam on Wednesday at 9:00 a.m.
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