Gilas Pilipinas Women failed to earn a podium finish in the 31st Southeast Asian Games, losing in the bronze medal match against Indonesia, 16-10, Saturday at the Thanh Tri Gymnasium in Hanoi, Vietnam.
The quartet of Claire Castro, Afril Bernardino, Janine Pontejos, and Angel Surada valiantly tried to salvage their campaign with a medal but could not replicate the magic of the 2019 team that won gold.
The offense was hard to come by for the Philippine squad early in the match and struggled to keep up with their opponent. The Indonesians were ahead 9-5 midway through the contest and kept Gilas at arm’s length for the rest of the way.
A 2-pointer from Pontejos cut the deficit to three points, 13-10, with a minute remaining. Unfortunately, that turned out to be the last bucket for Gilas.
The women’s team was relegated to the battle for third place after suffering a 21-14 defeat against Thailand in the semifinals earlier in the day. Thailand leaned on timely shooting to pull away, breaking a 9-all deadlock into a 16-10 advantage before eventually clinching the victory. The semis duel was a mirror image of their elimination round duel on Friday evening in which the Philippines also lost.
Thailand, which earned silver in the 2019 games, went on to win the gold medal.