A MIX of young stars from the UAAP and former Perlas Pilipinas members carry the Philippines’ colors in the women’s basketball event of the 2015 Southeast Asian Games in Singapore.
Afril Bernardino and Camille Sambile, the Most Valuable Players of the past two UAAP seasons, lead the 12-member squad along with Fria Bernardo, Clare Castro, Shelley Ann Gupilan, Danica Jose, Raiza Palmera, Cindy Resultay, and Sofia Roman.
Also making it to the team were Ewon Arayi, Amby Almazan, and Allana Lim, who also had stints with the former Perlas Pilipinas squad that represented the country in international competitions.
“This is the best from the UAAP, most of them naging MVP or Mythical Five sa UAAP,” said national head coach Patrick Aquino.
Aquino admitted there is pressure following a change in the women’s basketball program that saw the Discovery-backed Perlas Pilipinas being replaced by the team supported by Ever Bilena.
“Pressure rin kami dito dahil sa controversy and everything. Lahat nakatingin sa amin,” Aquino said, noting that gold is the target after the Philippines earlier claimed the silver.
“Wala na tayong ibang pupuntahan kundi gold dahil nakuha na natin ’yung silver,” said Aquino.
Bernardino and Sambile played for National University and Far Eastern University respectively where they won the MVP in the past two seasons.
The team is currently training at the SGS gym in Quezon City in their build-up for the SEA Games set June 5-16.