Perlas Pilipinas beats Thais for 3rd straight win
MANILA, Philippines – Perlas Pilipinas notched their third consecutive victory in the 25th FIBA Asia Championship for Women, beating hosts Thailand, 65-59, yesterday.
Analyn Almazan scored 17 points to go along with seven rebounds, while Chovi Borja and Merenciana Arayi added 10 points each.
It was the Filipinas’ third consecutive victory in the competition after defeating Hong Kong and Uzbekistan in their first two games.
Perlas Pilipinas never trailed in the game and led by as much as 20 points, as they shot 40% from the field and clobbered Thailand on the glass, 25-14.
“We went in well prepared for them,” Perlas head coach Haydee Ong said of their game against Thailand in the FIBA Asia website. “We did a lot of work in scouting and shutting out (Thailand star) Naruemol Banmoon.”
“We did a lot of work on how they are with her on the court and when she is on the bench. That went a long way in this win,” she added.
Banmoon finished with only five points on two-of-four shooting from the field.
The top three teams in the tournament will earn berths to the 2014 FIBA World Championships for Women in Turkey.
But a top two finish will allow the Philippines to qualify for the Level I playoffs, something they seek when they take on Malaysia and Indonesia on Wednesday and Thursday, respectively.
“Malaysia and Indonesia are very good teams. They lost a game, which makes them all the more dangerous,” said Ong. “They will come at us with everything they have, and they have everything to gain from the games against us.”
“We have to watch out,” she added. “But the most important thing for us would be to stick to our guns and hold our guard. That, I think, should hold us in good sted.”