A diminutive Philippine women’s basketball team absorbed its worst beating against Asian powerhouse China in their return to international action with a 52-143 nightmare Monday in the 2021 FIBA Women’s Asia Cup in Amman.
The Gilas women, with only one player above six feet, were totally no match against the world number seven squad.
Words could not describe how the game went.
Basically, it was a team of bigger ladies, with ultra-athletic guards, distributing the ball with minimal dribbling, sinking open outside shots or dumping the ball to their giant centers, sinking inside stabs against women a foot shorter than them.
On the other hand, the smaller team, despite best efforts, had their shots blocked, their possessions stolen, and their shots bricked.
Gilas’ women could not even find its mark from the three point line, a supposed strength of the team, shooting a paltry 6 of 24 from beyond the arc.
The height difference indeed mattered, as China overpowered the Filipinas in rebounding, 55-23.
China’s teamwork and chemistry was also at its peak, issuing a mind-boggling 52 assists—more than one assist per minute—against the Filipinas’ five.
“It’s about the preparation, China has been always there and they’ve come from the Olympics, while we’ve practiced for just one month, so that’s the big difference, our preparation,” explained Philippine head coach Patrick Aquino.
National team rookie Ella Fajardo lamented the team’s inactivity for two years owing to the coronavirus pandemic.
“We ask for your continuous support because we have more in us, it’s just that there are things that were beyond our control,” the Fil-Am cages said.
For China’s part, it was all about fixing their weak points during their Olympic stint and executing the needed adjustments in the game against the Philippines.
“We fixed our problems from our Olympic participation and we applied these learnings on this game,” said China head coach Xu Limin.
Yang Liwei led China with 21 points, five assists, and five steals while Afril Bernardino led the Philippines with 17 points and seven boards.
The Philippines will next face world number three Australia tomorrow.
Photo of the Gilas Pilipinas Women’s Team wearing bespoke Religioso face masks courtesy of Yvette R. Ilagan