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    Sat, Dec 10
    Pat Aquino, Gilas Women, SEA Games
    PHOTO: Jerome Ascano

    HANOI – Gilas Pilipinas Women coach Pat Aquino said he was relieved to see his team retain the Southeast Asian Games gold medalist despite being the underdog.

    The veteran coach pointed out that not only did the opposition get bigger, his Gilas team also got smaller in the absence of longtime mainstay Jack Animam, who is recovering from an ACL injury.

    “I’m very proud of the team,” said Aquino shortly after Gilas Women lost to Malaysia, 96-93, in their final game on Sunday diminished the shine in the Filipinas' second successive SEA Games gold medal.

    [See Anticlimactic end to gold run as Gilas Women lose to Malaysia]

    “We were the underdogs coming in. You can see naman ‘yung line-up. They got stronger. They got taller. “We are the smallest. Sabi ko nga, underdog kami but we proved to them the heart to play together will be there always.

    "Sabi nga nila, we cracked the code of how to play in the Southeast Asian level. We will improve more and hopefully, we could give more championships for the country,” added Aquino.

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    The Philippine team was already assured of the gold even prior to the game after Malaysia bowed to Vietnam on Saturday night. But the loss to Malaysia will be part of the learning curve, the coach added.

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    “We tried. Hopefully, this is a lesson for everybody na not to give up and never stop playing until the end. Maybe lesson learned for the years to come,” Aquino said.

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      “Maybe complacency and comfort zone na we have it already. Since last night, we were really happy when Vietnam won the game. Everybody was happy already. But we have to finish stronger," he added.

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      PHOTO: Jerome Ascano
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