No excuses for Gilas cagebelles as team gets bludgeoned by NZ: ‘Our second five needs to do better’

James hits dramatic buzzer-beating three as CSKA edge Zalgiris 85-82

GILAS Pilipinas women’s basketball team suffered a stinging loss at the hands of home team New Zealand on opening day of the FIBA Women’s Olympic Pre-Qualifying Tournament.

New Zealand prevailed, 111-54, that saw the Philippines struggling and turning the ball over while having difficulty matching up with the bigger Kiwis.

The Filipinas committed 22 turnovers and were held down to just 31.2-percent shooting from the field (20-of-64). Off their total turnovers, our country’s cagebelles also gave up 36 points from our miscues. The Kiwis pounded their way more inside and used their size advantage to the hilt on their way to shooting a steady 54.1-percent clip (46-of-85).

Size has been a big advantage of New Zealand and it was obvious in the rebounding department as it lorded the boards, grabbing 61 rebounds compared to only 25 for Gilas. The Kiwis’ domination of the rebounding department also allowed the host squad to score 21 second-chance points. The Filipinas had virtually no chance, scoring only two.

New Zealand also played much better as a team, dishing out 35 assists, 24 more than Gilas women’s squad.

To the eyes of head coach Patrick Aquino, the Filipinas were simply outclassed.

“Everybody should step up, especially my second five. Our second five needs to do better,” wrote Gilas women’s coach Patrick Aquino in an online interview with FOX Sports Philippines.

The Filipinas were able to get decent games from Afril Bernardino, who led the way with 17 points while deadshot Janine Pontejos and Fil-Am Kelli Hayes each produced 10.

“We gave up a lot of errors and second-chance points,” added Aquino. “They are also bigger and we couldn’t easily adjust to the game. We made some good outburst in the third, but they simply outclassed us.”

The Philippines will be facing Korea next, a team that is coming off a big win over China

“Well we have to match up with them talent wise and compete to there level. I know it’s going to be hard, but that just where we start to be able to play against them. They are in high spirits after the win game against China, so we have to really play our hearts out to be able to sustain and stay in the game,” added Aquino.

The Philippines’ participation in the FIBA Women’s Pre-Olympic Qualifying Tournament was made possible by the Samahang Basketbol ng Pilipinas, the country’s basketball governing body, headed by President Al Panlilio.