Gilas Pilipinas Women parade strong line-up to FIBA 3×3 Asia Cup

Pat Aquino (center) with Afril Bernardino, Janine Pontejos and Clare Castro. (photo from PSA Facebook)

By Kevin Sox

Gilas Pilipinas Women will be parading a competitive line-up in an attempt to finish high in the upcoming 2019 FIBA 3×3 Asia Cup in Changsa, China from May 23 to 26.

Speaking at the Philippine Sportswriters Association weekly forum, women’s national team head coach Patrick Aquino said he is confident the selection can carry the country to a respectable finish.

“These are the best players that we have,” said Aquino.

Composing the squad are a couple of six footers in Clare Castro (FEU) and Jack Danielle Animam (NU), multiple UAAP women’s MVP winner Afril Bernardino, and sharp-shooter Janine Pontejos.

The team will face Chinese-Taipei, Samoa and Vanuatu initially. Aquino hopes the squad can advance past the first phase.

“If we advance, then we will face the tougher teams like Japan, China and New Zealand,” said Aquino. “You have to qualify to the main tournament. The goal is to make it there.”

Aquino further described his four-woman line-up as “the best that can represent our country in women’s 3-on-3.”

Save for Castro, all of the players in line-up participated in the 2018 FIBA 3×3 World Cup women’s tournament hosted by the Philippines last July 2018 at the Philippine Arena.

Pontejos won the three-point contest of that event.

Aquino also mentioned that the same roster might also represent the Philippines in the 3×3 event of the Southeast Asian Games later this year.