Ava Fajardo presided on Gilas Pilipinas under-16 girls’ team anew as the Fiipinas came unstoppable right from the get-go to whip host team Jordan, 106-58 , and completed a sweep in the group stage matches of the FIBA U16 Women’s Asian Championship at the City Arena Prince Hamza in Aman, Jordan early Thursday morning in Manila.
Fajardo, younger sister of Gilas Pilipinas women’s newest sensation Ella Fajardo, caught fire early and scored 13 of her 17 points in the first half and set the tone for the Filipinas’ blazing start before the rest of the team started to make key contributions on offense for the Philippines, which picked up its third win in as many games.
Kimi Sayson stepped up in the second half and ended up as the team’s top scorer with 19 points on top of seven steals as she emerged the most efficient player on the Philippines’ side with a +29 in efficiency rating.
Nevaeh Smith added 15 makers, Ryan Kelly Nair contributed 11 while Scarlett Mercado and Demicah Arnaldo wound up with 10 apiece for the Filipinas.
As early as the first half, the Philippines started to pick up double time on the defensive end and made its presence felt against Jordan, which ran into a spate of turnovers and had difficulty against the pesky Filipina defenders.
The Gilas cagebelles completed 12 steals right in the first 20 minutes of play. That allowed the Philippines to score 24 ;points coming off 16 turnovers from the Jordanians in the first half.
Gilas had won their first three games with ease and barged into the crossover semifinal round of the Division B of this tournament.
The Philippines will play the No.2 seed in Group B in the the knockout semifinals duel on Saturday.
Gilas Pilipinas is looking to make it to the next level — the Division A — where it will get the opportunity of playing the top-tier teams in the 2025 edition of this event.