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Saturday, April 13, 2024

Tough task for Gilas PH Women in Manila Hustle

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The Gilas Pilipinas Women national team is raring to defend the crown in the Manila Hustle 3×3 Season 2, set to start on Saturday at the SM Mall of Asia Music Hall.

But the cagebelles will be without one of their top players in Kacey de la Rosa, who is resting due to a knee injury.

Another former UAAP finals MVP in Monique del Carmen will take her place in the squad, which won the crown as the MacBeth Lady Riots in Season 1.

Making up the rest of the Gilas Women are Camille Clarin, Kristine Cayabyab and Mikka Cacho.

“Injured siya. Kaya pinahinga muna namin. Pero nandiyan pa iyung iba niyang teammates at si Monique del Carmen,” said Gilas Women’s coach Mark Solano.

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From 12 teams last year, 16 squads will slug it out this time around, with the national women’s 3×3 squad one of seven Philippine teams in the tournament, alongside Uratex Dream, Uratex Tibay, Titans, Army Altama, Discovery Perlas, and Bluefire LPG.

It will be recalled that Lady Macbeth took the title after beating Philippine Army-Altama, 21-11, to win the inaugural finals in front of a large crowd at Robinsons Magnolia in Quezon City.

“We have been practicing for the last three weeks. Wala kaming break,” added Solano.

This time, there will be nine teams from six other countries that are entered, including Dinoman Hansol of Korea, Owls.EXE and Zoos Tokyo of Japan, Shoot It Dragons of Thailand, and Jumpshot of Singapore.

There is also the Japanese side Tokyo Dime, Korean team Unicle, Royals Basketball of Australia, and Shiv Nadar School of India.

Aoi Katsura, the world’s no. 25 and Japan’s top-ranked player, will spearhead Zoos Tokyo, along with Kim Dunarang, who was part of last year’s Mythical Three. She will be with Dinoman Hansol of Korea.

Ari Geli will reinforce Uratex Tibay, while Chinese center Li Renzhu adds height to Uratex Dream’s middle.

Kunchuan and world no. 574 Lina Nakazawa of Japan will also be backstopping the Titans as they seek to make a deeper run this time.

Congolese Grace Irebu, a former UAAP MVP from the University of Santo Tomas, will be around with Discovery Perlas, while La Salle’s Cameroonian center Fina Tchuido will play for Bluefire LPG.

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