UNDEFEATED Gilas Pilipinas girls youth team bolstered its Division A promotion bid with an outright semifinals berth in the 2022 FIBA U16 Women’s Asian Champion in Amman, Jordan.
The Filipina teens completed a sweep of Pool A highlighted by a 94-65 win against Samoa over the weekend to advance straight to the Final Four of the Division B tilt.
Kristian Yumul led the way with 22 markers, five assists and two steals in only 20 minutes of action as the Gilas girls scored a 29-point victory.
Naomi Panganiban (14) and Princess Villarin (13) threw in help for the wards of coach Brian Rosario and Julie Amos.
Gilas girls youth team previously smothered Indonesia, 104-68, before besting Syria with a close 92-86 victory.
Already in the semis, Gilas will enjoy a one-day breather as second and third-seeded teams scramble for the last two Final Four tickets.
Gilas will face either Kazakhstan or Samoa anew tomorrow while Pool B leader and also semifinalist Lebanon awaits the winner between Syria and Iran.
A championship by the Nationals in Division B would catapult them to the elite Division A featuring Australia, Japan, South Korea, New Zealand and India.
Gilas is eyeing the same route taken by India in 2017 after ruling the Division B to join the prestigious Division A, which is also ongoing with four tickets to the FIBA U17 World Cup at stake.
Meanwhile, the Gilas Pilipinas women’s, under the watch of program director Pat Aquino, for its part is already in the Division A of the senior division with Australia, South Korea, China, Japan, New Zealand, Chinese Taipei and India. — John Bryan Ulanday