Gilas Women take advantage of fresh legs to crush naturalized-laden Cambodia
The Philippines saw Cambodia get roughened up by Malaysia the day before, and that turned out to be opening it needed when Gilas Pilipinas had its turn against the host in the Southeast Asian Games women’s basketball competition on Wednesday night.
“That was the gameplan—we tried to have fresher legs than them,” national coach Pat Aquino told reporters on the heels of Gilas Women’s 114-54 blowout win at Morodok Techo National Stadium in Phnom Penh, Cambodia, that got their title-retention bid off on the right foot.
“It was to our advantage. We just took it. We were successful. And I think even when we were pressing all the time, we still had fresher legs [by] the end of the game,” he added.
The Philippines played without let up all night long and even held a naturalized-laden Cambodia to just nine points in the fourth quarter.
Ella Fajardo starred with 17 points, while Jack Animam delivered 16 more to show that playing against a squad backstopped by a WNBA-caliber talent was hardly an issue for the back-to-back champions.
Chack Cabinbin, Afril Bernardino and Camille Clarin all finished with twin-digit scores to help this proud Gilas team set an example for the men’s team that will play the hosts on Thursday night.
“I think the coaching staff scouted well [on Tuesday]. We really stayed here until the game was over against Malaysia,” Aquino said.
“Cambodia’s coach only has 5 or 6 or 7 [players] for his rotation. And some got injured already. [We just] grabbed that opportunity.”
“As far as we’re concerned, I hope we could sustain what we’re doing for the next five more games because we’re playing straight from here on out. No rest,” Aquino said.
The Philippines will plunge back into action against Singapore this Thursday 4 pm (Manila time).
“I think, again, the coaching staff has a game plan for tomorrow. Hopefully, we could address also—the heat and the playing time of the most important players. Everybody’s important but we’re trying to maintain the freshness of everybody,” Aquino said.
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