PH girls capture ASEAN cage gold

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SINGAPORE—The Philippine Girls’ Team demolished host Singapore, 82-32, Wednesday to clinch the gold medal in the 9th Asean Schools Games.

With a handful of supporters and some Overseas Filipino Workers in attendance at Tampines Sports Hub, the Filipino team broke the game wide open early and never looked back in scoring their fourth win in the tournament against no defeat.

The 50 points were the biggest winning margin for the girls, who earlier beat Malaysia, Thailand and Indonesia.

For coach Angelina Fedillaga, preparation for this year’s edition of the ASG was the key. The team ended up a bridesmaid twice to Thailand in 2014 and 2015.

Failing to achieve their ultimate goal in the past editions of the Asean Schools Games forced the coaching staff and the girls to go back to the drawing board and regroup.

This time, Fedillaga made sure the outcome would be different. She knew that with the right players, they can win the gold.

Players and coaching staff of the girls’ basketball team are shown holding the Philippine flag after demolishing host Singapore, 82-32, Wednesday to clinch the gold medal in the 9th ASEAN School Games. Also in the photo are Philippine Sports Commissioner Charles Raymond A. Maxey, Philippines Chef De Mission Rizalino Jose Rosales and deputy CDM Cesar Abalon.

“Ayaw na namin mag-settle sa runner-up finish. Mindset namin talaga is to win the gold. In-instill ko talaga yan sa kanila,” Fedillaga said.

Kristine Cayabyab played her best game in the tournament, scoring a team-high 21 markers in the final game.

Kent Jane Pastrana and Jeeul Rhcoel B. Bartolo added 13 and 12 points, respectively, for the Philippines.

Cayabyab, who took part in a six-week training in the Nike Rise basketball program under the supervision of national team head coach Vincent Chot Reyes in 2015, showcased her explosiveness and scoring abilities in an all-around performance against Singapore.

“We played with pride and teamwork. That’s why we won,” Fedillaga said.

“Sobrang happy talaga. First time namin maggold. The credit for our success goes to the girls for playing well.” 

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