Gilas Pilipinas Women seem to be right on track in their buildup for the FIBA Women’s Asia Cup that fires off 26 June at the Sydney Olympic Park in Australia.
The Gilas cagebelles downed Azusa Pacific University, a US National Collegiate Athletic Association team that only fielded a maximum of eight players.
The team is in the final stage of its preparations on local soil and is booked to face the Far Eastern Tamaraws, the University Athletic Association of the Philippines champion at noon today after getting mauled by the Adamson Baby Falcons a few days back.
National team coach Pat Aquino isn’t at all alarmed, saying those bruising battles against male players should help his players toughen up for the opposition in Australia.
“We really need these kinds of games. It’s one way of trying to find out where we are right now, but we’re now developing our maturity,” Aquino said.
“One thing we’ve realized right after we fell short of winning the third straight gold medal in the Southeast Asian Games, we have to bank on maturity more than the talent level because it’s given that each team competing in international games has talented players.”
Even more talented and more formidable are their rivals in the FIBA Women’s Asia Cup.
The Philippines is bracketed along with host Australia, Japan and Chinese Taipei.
Gilas begin their campaign on 26 June at 7:30 p.m. (Manila time) versus Japan.
The Filipinas leave on Saturday night for Melbourne where they are scheduled to have three more tune up matches against club teams there then head straight to Sydney.
In Sydney, Gilas will be joined by Vanessa de Jesus, their naturalized player, who sees action for the Duke Blue Devils in the US NCAA.