Despite valiant fight, Gilas falls short vs. NZ

New Zealand players hug each other after escaping Gilas' upset bid. FIBA
By Ivan Saldajeno

MANILA—Gilas Pilipinas missed out on a shot at Olympic glory after bowing to New Zealand, 78-83, in the quarterfinals of the FIBA Women's Asia Cup on Friday at the State Sports Centre in Sydney.

The result, however, was far from what virtually everyone thought as Gilas put up a fight against their Kiwi counterparts and seemed to be poised on pulling off what could have been the biggest upset of the tournament.

Gilas kept the game close for almost the entire game and even took a 50-45 lead against New Zealand early in the third.

With the "Tall Ferns" down, 68-69, entering the fourth, however, they turned to their defense and even some breaks of the game not favoring Gilas as the Filipinas were held to just nine points in the final frame.

Charlisse Leger-Walker fired 34 points with three rebounds, six assists, and three steals for New Zealand, which set a semifinal date with powerhouse Japan on Saturday as well as securing a place in the FIBA Olympic Qualifying Tournament.

Akiene Reed added 23 points, seven rebounds, and one assist, while Penina Davidson put up 10 points, 11 rebounds, two assists, two blocks, and one steal.

Afril Bernardino and Jhazmin Joson each scored 15 points, while Jack Animam added 14 points and 11 rebounds for Gilas in a game where Vanessa De Jesus was checked and only tallied four points.

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