The Gilas Pilipinas girls posted a three-game sweep of their Group A assignments, capped by a 94-65 mauling of Samoa, on Sunday in Division B action of the 2022 FIBA Women’s Under-16 Asian Championship at Prince Hamza Sports Hall in Amman, Jordan.
“The team is keeping it together and we have celebrated the wins. But we still have to focus and stay focused when we need to,” said Kristen Yumul, one of the team’s leaders, in a Zoom huddle with scribes on Monday.
Yumul, a 5’7” recruit from Oxnard High School in California, finished with 22 points on five treys for Gilas, which assured itself of a semifinal slot in the tournament.
Samoa is not out yet as it can still reach the semis if it gets past Kazakhstan during Tuesday’s semis qualification match.
Gabby Ramos credits the coaching staff, led by Brian Rosario, for helping them get through the difficulties of their three matches.
And she believes that it’s not over yet for them.
“There’s still a road ahead. Still has work to be done. We are enjoying it. But we know it’s not done,” said Ramos, a Clovis Eastern High School standout who, like Yumul, has been called up for Gilas through the Fil-Am Nation Select.
The Fil-Am Nation Select is a group of coaches in the United States, which gathers the best and brightest Fil-Am cagers and offers them opportunities to play and join in tournaments for the national team and with collegiate, club and professional squads in the Philippines.
The players’ stint with Gilas was made possible through coach Chris Gopez, who provided a bridge for for the girls.
Naomi Panganiban added 14 points, seven rebounds, five assists, and three steals, while National University cager BJ Villarin knocked in 13 points on 6-of-10 shooting from the field.
Kira-May Filemu provided 28 points and 27 rebounds for the Samoans.
Philippines 94 – Yumul 22, Panganiban 14, Villarin 13, Oani 9, Nolasco 9, Medina 9, Fajardo 8, Ramos 4, Elson 3, Patricio 3, Lopez 0.
Samoa 65 – Filemu 28, Oloapu 18, Tutani 9, Keresoma 4, Hogben 2, Hiko 2, Walshe 2, Talosaga 0, Kiliva 0.
Quarterscores: 26-19, 49-34, 71-52, 94-65.