Collegiate basketball MVPs Jack Danielle Animam and Afril Bernardino will spearhead Gilas Pilipinas Women’s campaign at the 2019 Southeast Asian Games 5×5 and 3×3 basketball tournaments beginning December 1st.
Joining Animam and Bernardino in the 12-player roster are Clare Castro, Danica Jose, Eunique Chan, Gemma Miranda, Kelli Hayes, Chack Cabinbin, Andrea Tongco, Khate Castillo, Ria Nabalan, and Janine Pontejos.
Pontejos and Castro will also work double-time as they’re also part of the 3×3 tournament.
All 4 members of the 3×3 team are no strangers to the discipline, with Animam, Bernardino, and Pontejos having represented the Philippines in the 2018 FIBA 3×3 World Cup.
Castro, meanwhile, joined the squad in the 2019 FIBA 3×3 Asia Cup.
All 12 players in the 5×5 roster have also suited up for the Philippines in the last, with a handful having participated in the 2019 FIBA Women’s Asia Cup and FIBA Asia-Oceania Pre-Olympic Qualifying Tournament for Women.
Samahang Basketbol ng Pilipinas (SBP) President Al Panlilio said the squad has grown under the tutelage of head coach Patrick Aquino, and he wants the team to raise the bar even more.
“We’ve seen (them) improve by leaps and bounds both in 5×5 and 3×3,” said Panlilio. “It’s time to target the SEA Games gold that has eluded us so far.”
Gilas Women has not placed in the podium in the last 2 stagings of the SEA Games, although they have won a gold in the 2016 SEABA Tournament and elevated their status to Division A in FIBA Asia.