The Gilas Pilipinas Women’s team opened their FIBA Women’s Asia Cup 2023 campaign with a tough 105-34 loss to the home team Australia, Monday in Sydney.
Despite the loss, newcomer Vanessa De Jesus emerged as a bright spot in today’s game. She led Gilas in scoring with 18 points, hitting four of the five triples she fired in the game.
“I think we came out with energy, but obviously Australia is a good team. We knew that coming in,” De Jesus said during the postgame press conference. “We just learn from this and come out tomorrow a little stronger.”
After Afril Bernardino opened up the game with a layup for Gilas, the Australians went on on a 14-0 run that gave them a comfortable lead early in the game.
De Jesus carried the scoring load in the second quarter. She found her range, hitting three of her four triples in the period, leading a charge to cut the deficit down to 18 points. Unfortunately, that was the closest they would get. The 2021 bronze medalists came out strong in the final two quarters to get the win.
“They made adjustments, but we also made adjustments,” De Jesus said. “Some shots just weren’t falling in the second half.”
Gilas falls to 0-1 in Group B, tied with Chinese-Taipei. They face Japan tomorrow at 11:30 AM, Philippine time.
“We have to really focus on that (Japan game). Let this game pass already and focus on that game,” Coach Pat Aquino said. “Hopefully we can give another exciting game tomorrow.”