Gilas falters to Japan as Vanessa De Jesus struggles

Japan's bench players celebrate after a made basket against Gilas. FIBA
By Ivan Saldajeno

TAGUIG—Gilas Pilipinas hit another huge roadblock in the FIBA Women's Asia Cup after stumbling to Japan, 57-95, on Tuesday at the State Sports Centre in Sydney.

Japan stifled Gilas early on, forcing turnovers that helped build a 28-14 lead at the end of the first quarter.

Gilas somehow stayed in step with Japan in the next two quarters, but the Filipinas still failed to at least cut the lead down to a more manageable one entering the fourth period.

Gilas lost steam in the end as Japan outscored them, 29-9, in the final frame to complete the blowout.

Himawari Akaho led Japan, now momentarily on top of Group A with a 2-0 record pending the result of the Chinese Taipei-Australia game later Tuesday, with 16 points, four rebounds, two assists, and three blocks.

Mai Yamamoto added 15 points, four rebounds, and two assists.

Less than 24 hours after sizzling from long-range against Australia, Vanessa De Jesus only went 1-for-6 from 22 feet out and only made 12 points with one rebound, four assists, and one steal for Gilas, which fell to 0-2.

Afril Bernardino also tallied 12 markers with eight rebounds, four assists, three steals, and one block for Gilas, which now needs to beat Chinese Taipei on Wednesday to not just enter the quarterfinals but also stay in Division A.

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