Gilas takes down Chinese Taipei, earns shot at FIBA Women's Asia Cup semis

Vanessa De Jesus came alive again for Gilas. FIBA
By Ivan Saldajeno

MANILA—For the first time since adopting a promotion-relegation format, the Philippines has won a group stage game in Division A of the FIBA Women's Asia Cup.

Gilas Pilipinas assured on Wednesday that they stay in the top flight after beating Chinese Taipei, 92-81, in their final Group A game at the State Sports Centre in Sydney.

Behind yet another explosion from Vanessa De Jesus and arguably Jack Animam's best game in the 5-on-5 circuit since returning from an ACL injury, Gilas gradually whipped their Taiwanese foes as they also sealed a showdown against New Zealand in the quarterfinals.

De Jesus finished with 25 points on 11-of-19 shooting, two rebounds, four assists, and two steals, while Afril Bernardino added 18 points, 10 rebounds, three assists, three steals, and one block for Gilas.

Animam went 8-for-8 from the field for 16 points with 15 rebounds and one assist.

Lin Yu-Ting put up 21 points, 10 rebounds, seven assists, three steals, and one block for Chinese Taipei.

New Zealand, which holds the tiebreaker over South Korea due to its Matchday 1 win, sealed the second seed in Group B with a 76-45 rout of Lebanon.

The winner of the Gilas-New Zealand game on Friday will not just enter the semifinals but also clinch a spot in the Paris Olympic qualifiers.

Meanwhile, Chinese Taipei and Lebanon will also face off on Friday but for survival with the losing side relegated to Division B for the next edition.

Follow him on Twitter: @IvanSaldajeno