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Gilas Pilipinas Women and their quest for the elusive first SEAG gold

by Reynald Magallon, December 03, 2019 10:41am

Would you believe that with the dominance of the country in basketball in the Southeast Asian Region the Gilas Women's team has never won the gold medal in the 5-on-5 Women's basketball event?

In the 19 staging of the tournament in the SEA Games since 1977, the Filipina dribblers have collected 11 podium finishes, six of those were silvers and five bronzes. But with the Gilas Women team now playing in their home turf, their head coach Pat Aquino felt this was the perfect time to finall break the drought for the Philippines and start their own dominant reign.

"We're ready and eager to play sa home court natin, for the countrymen natin maganda maipakita natin kung paano maglaro yung pinay ballers natin," Aquino told Courtside Philippines.

While the Philippine Women's team remain confident that they can deliver the gold medal, Aquino said that there's still the pressure especially that the Gilas Pilipinas remained to be in the Level 1 of the FIBA in the Asian region. Gilas Women's first took the Division A status and retained it up to date.

"Definitely, there's pressure kasi kagaya sa 5-on-5 nasa level 1 tayo ang taas ng expectation sa atin na hinihingi kasi pag nasa level 1 ka you're up against sa best ng Asia. Now we're in southeast Asia kailangan siguro ikaw yung number one dito kasi ikaw yung nasa level one," shared Aquino.

"The amount of pressure coming is very much and of course, to deliver the gold dito sa Pilipinas kasi dito tayo eh. It must be the first gold for women's basketball so talagang pinagpreparahan namin to and hopefully we get that elusive gold this year," Aquino added.

Despite the Division A status, Aquino said the Philippines cannot be complacent especially there's a small room for error with the Women's competition will only be playing a single round robin format and there's only four countries that participated in the event.

Malaysia, for one, is the reigning back-to-back Gold medalist of the event and has won 13 gold medals in the event in SEA Games history followed by Thailand with five.

"As I've seen yung Malaysia has been the two time Southeast Asian champion and then yung Thailand perennial contender lagi yan every SEA Game," Aquino said.

"Now I heard yung Indonesia build up so much coming into this game so kailngan maging ready tayo kasi we also wanted to prove na talagang we deserve to be the champion in Southeast Asia," he stressed.

Gilas however will be banking on their international experience having played in various FIBA tournaments including the 2019 FIBA Asia Cup, something that Aquino was thankful for to the patrons of the Philippines women's team.

"Nagpapasalamat ako sa SBP especially kay si Al Panlilio for giving us the confidence na kami yung magrepresent ng country and kay Sir Ryan Gregorio for putting up more exposure on us, sending us to some premiere tournaments in FIBA," Aquino uttered.

"Syempre sa sumusuporta sa min, si Dioceldo Sy, he's been there for the longest time for Women's basketball so those people talaga kung wala yung mga yun wala kami."

"We also dedicate this to them and sa mga Pilipinos na talagang gusto namin mapakilala na hindi lang Men's lagi but ganun din yung Women's basketball," he ended.



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