Discovery Perlas ng Pilipinas made it three wins in a row after beating host Thailand, 65-59, in the 25th FIBA Asia Championship for Women Tuesday evening at Bangkok Youth Center, Bangkok, Thailand.
The Philippine women’s basketball national team outscored Thailand in the first half of the game scoring 17-11 in the first quarter, and 34-24 in second quarter.
Thailand made a quick start in the third quarter, with Naruemol Banmoo scoring and Wipaporn Saechua knocking down a three-pointer to cut their deficit down to just five, 34-29. But it was all Perlas after that in the third, as they outscored Thailand 16-4 the rest of the period.
In the fourth quarter, Thailand came aggressive at the start of the game, cutting Philippines’ 15-point lead down to 10 in the first two minutes. But unfazed with Thailand’s aggressiveness, Almazan scored six consecutive points and Chovi Borja added four more on a split from the line and a three-point play to push Philippines’lead to 20 points, 62-42, with 4:53 minutes to play.
The host then cut the lead to 6 points, 64-58, by hitting four triples, with 17 seconds remaining, but they ran out of time bowing to Philippines 59-65, their first loss in the preliminary round of the championship.
Center Analyn Almazan scored 17 points and 7 rebounds, while Borja and Merenciana Arayi each scored 10 points.
Team captain Joan Grajales added nine for Perlas.
“We went in well prepared for them,” Ong said after the Philippines defeated host Thailand.
“We did a lot of work in our scouting and shutting out Naruemol Banmoo (Thailand’s spearhead). We did a lot of work on how they (Thailand) with her on court and when is on the bench. That went a long way in this win,” Ong added.
Discovery Perlas ng Pilipinas will face Malaysia tomorrow noon, and Indonesia on Thursday, their final game in the preliminary round.
Malaysia beat Hong Kong, 73–38 this morning, while Indonesia beat Uzbekistan 71–60 in the afternoon.
Philippines is now the only team in Level II without a single loss. Malaysia, Indonesia and Thailand now rank 2nd, 3rd and 4th, all with 5 points, but with 1.293, 1.199 and 1.105 GAs respectively.
In Level I of the championship, China beat India, 97–36; Chinese Taipei beat Kazakhstan, 87–57; and Japan beat Korea, 78-71.
Japan now leads the Level I competition with 6 points by winning all their three games.
China, Chinese Taipei and Korea came in 2nd, 3rd and 4th, all with 5 points (2 wins and 1 loss) and GA of 1.588, 1.251 and 1.200 respectively.
Kazakhstan and India are 5th and 6th in Level I.