Pinays eye SEAG despite 4th place in Asian elims
MANILA, Philippines - The Perlas Pilipinas basketball team could still salvage a spot in the Phl delegation to the Southeast Asian Games despite its 1-2 win-loss card against Asean rivals in the 25th FIBA Asia Championship for Women Level II competitions in Bangkok.
The Pinay cagebelles pulled through with a huge 65-59 victory over host and reigning SEAG titlist Thailand but absorbed sorry setbacks to Malaysia (56-60) and Indonesia (54-60) in the tourney that served as their venue to “justify” their inclusion in the SEAG contingent.
The Philippine Olympic Committee and Philippine Sports Commission’s SEAG task force had demanded a “decent performance” from the wards of coach Haydee Ong in the cagefest.
“Okay na sana but task force will be meeting (still) and I’m sure these two losses to SEA Games countries will be an issue (in the deliberations),” chef de mission and task force head Jeff Tamayo told The STAR.
Perlas came close to snaring the gold medal in the last edition of the SEA Games in 2011 in Indonesia, if not for costly errors in an elimination game against eventual champs Thailand. But its silver medal didn’t guarantee a spot in the 2013 SEAG contingent as the task force initially set a high gold medal standard for the delegates. They were eventually given a chance to join the Myanmar-bound Team Phl if they could prove their worth in the FIBA Asia.
Observers believe Perlas’ impressive win over the Thais should be given weight considering their victim was the reigning champions in the biennial meet and that their setbacks to the Malaysians and Indons weren’t exactly blowout losses
PH 5 finished Fiba Asia with a 3-2 slate overall, counting its two victories over non-Asean nations Hong Kong, 87-57, and Uzbekistan, 62-55, as well. The Filipinas ranked fourth in the six-nation Level II as Indonesia, also with 3-2, took third position by virtue of winner-over-the-other tiebreak. Thailand and Malaysia, with identical 4-1 cards, finished 1-2 in the second-tier and eventually got the chance to play in the playoff for promotion to Level I.