Perlas Pilipinas finds reigning champ Japan too much to handle in FIBA Asia Women's Cup opener 
Mae Cabinbin drives past Rui Machida in their FIBA Asia Women's Cup game Sunday. FIBA-Asia.com

BANGALORE, India – Defending champion Japan gave Perlas Pilipinas a rude welcome in its Level 1 debut in the FIBA Asia Cup Women’s Cup behind a 106-55 rout Sunday at the Sree Kanteerava Indoor Stadium here.

The Japanese scored the game’s first nine points to set the tempo of the wire-to-wire win, ending the opening quarter holding a 25-11 lead from which the Filipina cagebelles never recovered.

Evelyn Mawuli finished with a game-high 21 points,  while Manami Fujioka had 10 rebounds and 10 assists for the defending champions, who sizzled for 36 percent from three-point range.

Gemma Miranda led the Filipinas’ side with 17 points, followed by Jack Danielle Animam with six points and nine rebounds.

Perlas is making its first appearance at this highest level of the biennial meet following its promotion from Level 2 during the 2015 edition of the tournament held in Wuhan, China.

It can’t get any better for the Filipinas in their next assignment as they take on Australia on Monday. The Aussies, led by WNBA veterans Kelsey Griffin and Belinda Snell, downed South Korea, 78-54, in the first game of the day.

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