THE national women’s team eyes a follow-up to its rousing debut in the 25th Fiba-Asia Championship For Women when it tangles with Uzbekistan on Monday in Bangkok, Thailand.
The Perlas ng Silangan won its first game in Level II of the tournament on Sunday after routing Hong Kong, 87-57, behind the valiant effort of Analyn Almazan, who topscored with 22 on 9-of-12 shooting and had seven rebounds.
The Filipina cagebelles practically settled the outcome by halftime when they sat on a 51-33 lead after outscoring their opponents, 28-14, in the second quarter.
Merenciana Arayi added 14 points, while Fria Bernardo had 12.
The team next meets Uzbekistan, a team which coach Heidi Ong admitted the Filipinas cagebelles are not really familiar with.
“Like Hong Kong, hindi pa rin kasi namin nakikita paano lumaro ang Uzbekistan,” said Ong prior to the team’s departure for the Thailand capital.
After Uzbekistan, the Perlas ng Silangan battles reigning Southeast Asian Games champion Thailand on Tuesday followed by Malaysia (Wednesday), and then Indonesia (Thursday).
A top two finish in Level II for the Filipinas at the end of the preliminaries will earn them a shot at either the No. 5 or No. 6 team in Level I for outright promotion in the next edition of the meet in 2015.
Philippines (87) – Almazan 22, Arayi 14, Bernardo 12, Grajales 8, Borja 8, Resultay 8, Tioseco 5, Jacob 4, Mercado 2, Galicia 2, Flormata 2, Tiu 0.
Hong Kong (57) – Chu 11, Law 11, Wong 6, Lu 6, Wong TC 5, Chan 5, Yap 4, Lam 3, Koon 3, Cheuk 2, Li 1, Cheng 0.
Quarterscores: 23-19; 51-33; 69-47, 87-57.