THE Philippine women’s basketball team pulled off a huge victory by beating host Thailand, 65-59, on Tuesday night in the Level II of the Fiba-Asia Women’s Championship in Bangkok.
The nationals captured their third victory to remain unbeaten at the expense of the host country and, consequently, justified their place in the 2013 Southeast Asian Games in Myanmar late this year.
Initially, the SEA Games Task Force formed by the Philippine Olympic Committee and the Philippine Sports Commission has asked the women’s team to justify their spot in the SEA Games by performing creditably in the Fiba-Asia joust.
Thailand is the defending champion of the SEA Games women’s basketball tournament after beating the Philippines in overtime two years ago in Jakarta.
Analyn Almazan had 17 points, while Chovi Borja and Ewon Arayi added 10 points each for the Filipina cagers.
Discovery Perlas Pilipinas posted a 50-33 entering the third and never looked back with Borja hitting a free throw that made it a 62-42 game midway in the fourth.
The lead was too much to overcome as a furious comeback attempt by the Thais went for naught.
A promotion to Level I is at stake in the tournament.
Philippines (65) – Almazan 17, Borja 10, Arayi 10, Grajales 9, Flormata 5, Jacob 4, Tioseco 4, Mercado 2, Bernardo 2, Resultay 2, Tiu 0, Galicia 0.
Thailand (59) – Yothanan 13, Chirdpetcharat 12, Saechua 10, Kunchuan 9, Maihom 7, Banmoo 5, Sangtad 2, Mathuros 1, Jantakan 0, Phetsaenkha 0, Janthabut 0, Kaichaiyapoom 0.
Quarterscores: 17-11; 34-24; 50-33; 65-59.