SEA Games: Perlas Pilipinas opens bid for gold by crushing Singapore
KUALA LUMPUR, Malaysia — (UPDATED) Perlas Pilipinas’ bid for their first-ever women’s basketball gold got off to a rousing start on Sunday evening at the MABA Stadium here.
Unleashing a balanced effort and swarming defense, the Philippine women’s basketball team easily dismantled Singapore, 88-54.
National University standout Afril Bernardino led the Philippines with 16 points, including a couple of highlight reel buckets off steals. Janine Pontejos added 13 points.
“It’s a good start for us,” said Perlas coach Pat Aquino, who exhorted his players to show greater intensity on defense after settling for a 23-16 lead in the first quarter.
They broke the game open in the second period, building a 39-25 lead at the half. They led by as much as 37 points, 86-49, after two triples by Bernardino.
“Afril came out today. She has been missing since FIBA, but she came to play today and she deserves to be the leading scorer,” Aquino said of his star player.
Camille Sambile added 10 points for Perlas, which shot 41% from the field and limited Singapore to only 29% shooting.
Perlas is trying to make history in women’s basketball after a heartbreaking fourth-place finish in the 2015 SEA Games in Singapore.
They return to action on Monday evening against Indonesia.
PHILIPPINES 88 — Bernardino 16, Pontejos 13, Sambile 10, Lim 9, Resultay 8, Cabinbin 7, Almazan 6, Tongco 6, Dy 5, Animam 4, Abaca 0.
SINGAPORE 54 — Tang 10, Lim Zhi Yan 9, Chu Jia Jia 9, Tan En-Min 8, Yoshida 7, Xiang Ying 4, Koh 3, Ang Sew Ting 2, See Kai Ting 0.
Quarter scores: 23-16, 39-25, 64-36, 88-54.
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