Gilas women's team begins training in Lipa for 2021 FIBA Asia Cup
September 08, 2021 - Wednesday 8:09 PM by GDMPHOTO: Jet Hotel
The Gilas Pilipinas women's basketball team has begun their preparation for the upcoming 2021 FIBA Women's Asia Cup.
The team is currently under a bubble setup in Lipa, Batangas, with JET Hotel as their temporary home while their practices are held at the Summit Point Golf & Country Club.
Team Pilipinas, led by head coach and SBP Program Director for Gilas Pilipinas Women Pat Aquino, will be one of eight teams in Division A seeing action in Amman, Jordan from September 27 to October 3.
They were grouped with Australia, China, and Chinese Taipei in the tournament.
"The continued growth of women’s basketball in the country is one of the pillars of the Samahang Basketbol ng Pilipinas. And this is why the federation along with our partners will do everything we can to support our Gilas Pilipinas Women,” said SBP Special Assistant to the President Ryan Gregorio.
Half of the Gilas women's team are composed of 2019 Southeast Asian Games gold medal winners that featured Afril Bernardino, Chack Cabinbin, Khate Castillo, Clare Castro, Ria Nabalan, Janine Pontejos, Mar Prado, and Andrea Tongco.
Meanwhile, Kristine Cayabyab, Karl Ann Pingol, Camille Clarin, and Ella Fajardo will make their debut at the seniors level.
“It’s good that we can finally start working together,” said Aquino, who will also be assisted by coaches Ramon Garcia, Julie Amos, and Mark Solano; with trainer Paolo Gorospe and physical therapist Rassel Urag.
"During these times, it’s a luxury to be able to focus on basketball and that’s why the team is thankful for this opportunity to practice in a safe environment. We’re thankful to General Manager Vic de Guzman, [and] Summit Point Golf & Country Club and Sales Manager Leonardo de Castro of JET Hotel for accommodating the team."
“We have all the amenities we need, from the gym to the basketball court and even a pool, so we’re all excited to put in the work. We have not been together as a team for a while now, so this is a chance for us to rebuild our chemistry with each other.”
The best four teams in Asia will have the chance to qualify for the FIBA Women’s Basketball World Cup 2022 in Australia.
Gilas Women's will be taking on China on September 27, Australia on September 28, and Chinese Taipei on September 29.
"Under the leadership of SBP President Al Panlilio and our Program Director and head coach Pat Aquino, our Gilas Pilipinas Women have grown by leaps and bounds already. Competing in Division A is proof of that and so was the double gold medal haul in the last SEA Games,” said SBP Deputy Executive Director Butch Antonio.
“The pandemic has presented a unique challenge, but the SBP is confident that our team will do the very best they can to represent the country in Jordan.”
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