Gilas Women’s 3×3 team took home the silver medal in the 32nd Southeast Asian Games after losing to Vietnam, 21-16, in the final match Sunday in Cambodia.
Afril Bernardino led the way for Gilas with eight points, while Jack Animam backed her up with four points.
Gilas fell behind by three points early in the game as the Vietnamese team started out hot. Bernardino scored on back-to-back drives to get Gilas to within one, 11-10. Vietnam rebuilt a 3-point lead before Animam drained offensive putbacks to make it 16-15. Unfortunately, that was the final push for the Philippine team. Vietnam went on a 5-1 run to close out the game.
The Philippines opened the day with a gutsy 21-20 win over home team Cambodia in the semifinal stage. Bernardino carried the load offensively with nine points. Janine Pontejos waxed hot from beyond the arc with three makes for seven points.
Pontejos had the hot hand early in the game. She drilled three long shots to push Gilas ahead 10-5 midway through the game. Mikka Cacho and Bernardino teamed up to score three more points to give Gilas their biggest lead of the game, 13-6.
Cambodia battled back, tying the game at 13 with a 7-0 run. From there it was a tight battle all the way to the final basket. With 14 seconds left and the game tied at 20, Bernardino drove strong to the hoop to end the game, sending Gilas to the gold medal match.
Bernardino, Animam, Pontejos, and Cacho now shift their focus to the Women’s 5×5 tournament starting on May 10.