Perlas ng Pilipinas was victorious on the opening day of the 25th FIBA Asia Championship for women after defeating Hong Kong,87-57, at the opening day, Sunday morning at the Bangkok Youth Center, Bangkok, Thailand.
Philippine women’s basketball team clobbered Hong Kong 23–19, 28–14, 18–14, 18–10 to start their campaign on a high note.
“We’re excited about this tournament,” team captain Joan Grajales said. “Our goal is to get to Level I so this (triumph over Hong Kong) is a good win,” she added.
Analyn Almazan scored 22 points, 7 rebounds and an assist in 24 minutes of action for Discovery Perlas ng Pilipinas, which pulled away late in the second quarter and never looked back.
Merenciana Arayi and Fria Bernardo added 14 and 11 points, respectively, for the Filipinos, who face Uzbekistan 12 noon on Monday.
“The aim is to take a serious shot at Level I qualifying. And we know we need to win as many games as possible to achieve that,” Philippines coach Haydee Ong said.
Thailand and Malaysia are also victorious in the Level II of the competition, along with Philippines.
Thailand, playing in front of the largest crowd of the day after a compact Opening Ceremony, routed Uzbekistan 60-41; while Malaysia and Indonesia went neck and neck almost the entire duration of the game before the former made a turnaround in fortunes with a 18-4 run in the latter part of the final quarter, winning 61-49.
The top two finishers in the Level II competition are seeing action in the playoff games against the fight and sixth teams in Level I; for a chance to make it to Level I competition next championship.
In Level I competitions, Japan beat Kazakhstan (94-59), Chinese Taipei beat India (85-57), and Korea upset top seed China (72-70).