Perlas Pilipinas in Taiwan to beef up for FIBA Asia, SEA Games

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By Kevin Sox

Perlas Pilipinas, the Philippine women’s national basketball team, is in a week-long training camp in Taipei, Taiwan for early preparations for the upcoming 2019 FIBA Women’s Asia Cup slated in September 2019.

Led by mainstays Afril Bernardino and Jack Danielle Animam, the squad mentored by Patrick Aquino will look to maintain the country’s status as a Level I team in the continental showdown.

Aquino earlier stated in late March that the Taiwan trip is part of a series of training camps with the solitary goal of performing well in the FIBA Women’s Asia Cup.

“We’re going to Taiwan for a series of practice games against commercial teams. And then we’ll be back again in Taiwan [in] July for the [women’s] Jones Cup. This is in preparation of the FIBA Asia,” stated Aquino last March.

Part of the 19-woman pool of Aquino are marquee names in collegiate basketball like Bea Daez, Danica Jose, Camille Claro, Khate Castillo, Andrea Tongco, Kristina Deacon, Gemma Miranda, Janine Pontejos, and Ria Nabalan.

Preparing this early will also keep the players in condition for a later goal in mind: finally winning a gold medal in the Southeast Asian Games.

“I just hope that we can prepare well and to make a new, formidable team coming into the SEA Games. I think we can have that We have young and may Fil-ams tayong paparating so hopefully, we can get that elusive gold for the past six years now,” said Aquino.

Not promising anything, Aquino added Malaysia, Thailand, and Indonesia are his three teams to beat in the biennial tournament which the Philippines will be hosting.

“We hope that we can get back at those teams, especially with the heartbreaking [ending] sa SEA Games in 2017. I hope that we can get it all.”

The Philippines finished out of the podium in both the 2015 and 2017 editions of the SEA Games.

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