Gilas Pilipinas Women Under-18 embark on another quest to advance to Division A at the FIBA U18 Asian Women’s Championship 2022 in India after a bronze medal at Asia U16 level
MANILA, Philippines — It will be Gilas Women’s Under-18’s turn in the spotlight as the team take the stage in the FIBA Asia Women’s Under-18 Championship Division B competition 2022 which will take place from September 5-11 in Bangalore, India.
The Gilas squad will open their campaign on Monday, September 5 against Thailand at 6:15 p.m. The Philippines will face Samoa on Tuesday September 6, before closing the preliminaries on Wednesday September 7 against the Maldives.
The young Philippines were drawn in Group A along with Thailand, Samoa and the Maldives. The top two teams will advance to the crossover semi-finals against the top two finishers in Group B consisting of Jordan, Mongolia, Hong Kong and Malaysia.
Only the winner of Division B will have the privilege of being promoted to Division A where Asian powers Australia, China, Japan and New Zealand play.
The Gilas Women’s Under-18 team will be coached by Gilas Women’s Senior Team Head Coach, Patrick Aquino.
Aquino has built a team of long, athletic wingers who can play in multiple positions and shoot from the outside as the team tries to make up for their lack of big ones.
Three members of the U16 team that finished third in the FIBA Asia U16 held in Jordan last June will take over national team duties.
Kristan Geyl Yumul, the second-highest scorer with an average of 21.6 points and the best three-point shooter in the entire FIBA Asia U16 tournament, should provide Team Gilas with some outside shooting power.
She will be joined by Camille Velasco from Miriam College, fresh out of the NBA Basketball Without Borders camp in Australia, and BJ Villarin from the National University.
Sumayah Sugapong from La Jolla Country Day and Louna Ozar from ESB Villeneuve-d’Ascq Lille Métropole are two new faces wearing the Filipino jersey who deserve to be followed.
The 5-foot-9 Sugapong has been named one of the best high school shooting guards in California. She recently signed up to play US NCAA Division I basketball for UC San Diego.
Ozar, 18, who is also 5-foot-9, has long been on the radar of Gilas’ female coaching staff.
She is part of the U18 and U20 teams of the ESBVA whose senior team plays in the first women’s division of the French professional league.
Ozar, whose father Leo hails from Camiguin, was drafted to play for the French national team in the FIBA U16 Women’s European Championship but opted to see action for the Philippines instead.
Front line duties will be handled by 6ft Sydney Heyn and 5ft 11in Candice Udal. The rest of the team consists of Ashley Loon, Ryhanna Calvert, Kate Bobadilla, Kalynne Mendez and Hope Mangal-Lan. – Rappler.com