By Crisdenmar Dela Cruz

PHOTO: FIBA Basketball

Despite a stunning defeat to Samoa in its semifinal match, Gilas Pilipinas Women secured a podium finish after overwhelming Lebanon in the battle for third.

The National team wrapped up its FIBA U16 Asian Championship Division B campaign with a 90-68 rout against Lebanon to clinch a bronze medal on Thursday at Prince Hamzah Hall in Amman, Jordan.

Picking up the momentum and confidence they got in the penultimate quarter, Gilas Women did not show any letup after staying out of reach from their foes with a 16-4 blast, 6:45 minutes left.

Doughty sniper Kristan Geyl Yumul found her shooting touch as she drained six triples to lead her team with 20 points, two rebounds, six assists, and three steals, while Gabriella Ramos and Naomi Panganiban had 20 and 16 points, respectively.

The first salvo opened to a heated trade of baskets with Panganiban and Ramos leading the charge, but the Lebanese answered back with a 6-0 run, enough to give them a two-point lead to finish the quarter.

Four triples from Yumul gave Gilas the means to put some distance between them and Lebanon, 34-28, just five minutes in the second.

Gilas Pilipinas opened the floodgates in the second half as they doubled what Lebanon did offensively, 22-11, and took an 18-point lead heading into the final quarter.

Angelina Bado led the Lebanon squad with 19 points and five rebounds, while Nour Labban added 12 markers in the loss.

The Gilas Women team remained in Division B as FIBA only granted the B’s champion to become a Division A team.

In the group stage, both the Philippines and Syria defeated Samoa, but the Samoans were just too eager as they exacted their vindictive revenge in the semifinals and finals outing.

On top of that, Gilas Women will look to capitalize on the experience they got, as the core will most likely represent the country in the FIBA Asia U18 Women's Championship in September.

Edited by Irene Mae Castillo