Gilas Women clobber Cambodia to kick off SEA Games ‘three-peat’ bid

Ella Fajardo leads Gilas Women past Cambodia in their first game in SEA Games 2023. – POOL PHOTO

Ella Fajardo leads Gilas Women past Cambodia in their first game in SEA Games 2023. – POOL PHOTO

The Philippines lived up to its lofty billing as defending champion on Wednesday night, blowing Cambodia into kingdom come, 114-54, in the Southeast Asian Games women’s basketball competition.

Gilas Pilipinas Women got their act together in the second period to pull away from the hosts which paraded a number of naturalized players, including a WNBA-caliber talent.

Leading the scoring charge is Ella Fajardo, who finished with 17 points. Jack Animam was just as big with 16 points, nine rebounds, and three assists while also coming off the bench.

Program veterans Chack Cabinbin and Afril Bernardino along with Camille Clarin all turned in twin-digit scores in the outstanding effort at Morodok Techo National Stadium in Phnom Penh.

Cambodia turned to former Atlanta Dream guard Meighan Simmons in his homestand, but against a Gilas squad greased by spectacular team play, the host hardly stood a chance.

Save for its free-throw conversions, Gilas bested its foes in every statistical category.

Mariah Cooks, another American reeled in by Cambodia for the cage competition, led her team with 18 points and nine rebounds. Simmons, meanwhile, chipped in 11 and seven.

Gilas will have a quick turnaround as it plays Singapore next. The two nations slug it out 4 pm (Manila time) before the Philippine men’s team battles the host in a highly-anticipated duel two hours later.


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