The Gilas Pilipinas Women’s team dropped their first game in the 19th Asian Games, losing 96-59 to Japan Sunday evening in China.
Janine Pontejos continued to lead the team in scoring, notching 13 points with two triples in the loss. Jack Animam and Chack Cabinbin scored nine points each, while Afril Bernardino added eight points.
Gilas had a tough start to the game and found themselves down 38-14 to start the second period. They tried to make a run before the first half ended behind back-to-back hits by Pontejos and a basket by Louna Ozar, cutting the deficit down to 17 points.
The Filipinas fought valiantly in the third, limiting Japan to just 16 points in the period, but they could not string up enough consecutive baskets to make another run before the game ended.
Gilas finished Group B in the second spot with a 2-1 record, just behind the undefeated Japanese team. Even with the loss, the Philippines will move on to the quarterfinals of the Women’s Basketball Tournament as one of the top eight teams at the end of the group phase.