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Young cagebelles start Asian hunt


The quest for glory begins as the Gilas Pilipinas Women squad battles Hong Kong in the Division B of the FIBA U16 Women’s Championships on Monday at the Prince Hamza Sports Hall in Amman, Jordan.

Bannered by Ava Fajardo, the younger sister of Gilas Women squad mainstay Ella Fajardo, the Filipinas are tipped to go all out in their 10:30 p.m. (Manila time) battle to tow the country to Division A together with other top-tier teams in Asia.

Fajardo will be assisted by Ryan Kelly Nair, who has been her teammate since they were 14 years old when they nearly led the squad to Division A if not for a sorry loss to Samoa.

Aside from Fajardo and Nair, who was discovered through the Fil-Am Nation Select program, also tipped to carry the cudgels for the Filipinos are Demicah Jaeriel Arnaldo, Isabella Rose de Jesus, Scarlett Montana Mercado, Alyssia Rylee Palma, Naims Navarro, Ma. Cristina Aubrey Lapasaran, Sophia Canindo and Nevaeh Faith Smith, Kimi Sayson and Ariel dela O.

Sayson played for Long Branch girls basketball team while Dela O saw action for Freedom High Basketball.

Only the champion in Division B will be promoted to Division A.

Teams in the Division A are fighting for a top four berth where the qualified squads will earn a berth to the 2024 FIBA Under-17 Women’s World Cup.

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