Gilas Pilipinas Women to field tallest line-up ever in Jones Cup

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The Gilas Pilipinas women’s basketball national team will parade a formidable line-up bannered by Filipino-American reinforcements in the upcoming 2019 Jones Cup in Taiwan.

With the loose nature of the international tournament, Gilas Pilipinas Women will finally be able to test their Fil-Am recruits in the annual basketball wars.

Arizona State’s Arnecia Hawkins headlines the 12-woman roster, along with UCLA’s Kelli Hayes, George Washington University’s Meilyn Bautista, and Sacramento State’s Gabi Bade as head coach Patrick Aquino fortified his team with sharpshooters.

Hawkins, a 5-foot-10 Sun Devils guard, was one of the best 3-point shooters of the team during the 2014-2015 college basketball season, shooting at a team-high 41.5% from deep. She averaged 8.9 points in her senior year.

The 6-foot-1 Hayes averaged 6.4 points and 2.3 rebounds a game for the Bruins during the 2017-2018 season, while shooting a decent 35% from 3-point land.

The 5-foot-6 Bautista averaged 9.3 points on 51% field goal shooting and 3.9 assists in her senior year for GWU. Bade was a 38.7% shooter from downtown for the Sacramento State Hornets while also averaging 10.4 points per contest.

Joining the four are perennial National U champions Afril Bernardino, Jack Animam, and Gemma Miranda, mainstays Janine Pontejos, Clare Castro, and Chack Cabinbin, Ateneo alum Danica Jose, and De La Salle alum Camille Claro.

The Philippines’ Jones Cup stint is part of their long-term preparation for key events this calendar year, including the 2019 FIBA Asia Cup which serves as a qualifier for the 2020 Olympic Qualifying Tournament, and the Southeast Asian Games hosted by the Philippines in November.

The squad will be up against topnotch competition, like Taipei and New Zealand.

The team finished 7th in the 2017 edition of the FIBA Asia wars, with a win over North Korea preserving their status as a Division A team.