Gilas Women eye historic three-peat in SEA Games

Gilas Pilipinas Women in the 31st SEA Games 5×5 basketball. SBP PHOTO

MANILA, Philippines—The Gilas Pilipinas Women’s basketball team is gunning for history in the 2023 Southeast Asian Games in Cambodia.

Pat Aquino, the team’s program director and head coach, said the team is gunning for a “three-peat”  something that has never been accomplished by the country’s women’s team.

“If we get the gold again in Cambodia, it will be the first three-peat. No one has completed a three-peat in women’s basketball in the Philippines, only the men’s,” he said at a PSA forum on Tuesday.

“The other teams like Indonesia have been recruiting so much. Vietnam has twin sisters from the States (Kayleigh and Kaylynne Truong). Malaysia also has a new Australian coach,” Aquino added.

In the SEA Games’ last installment at Hanoi, both the Philippines and Indonesia finished with twin 4-1 records but due to the win-over-the-other rule, Gilas snagged gold after beating Indonesians, 93-77, in the first game of the tourney.

Other than the imminent return of National University standout Jack Animam, the squad is also working hard to make training accessible for the current pool of players.

“In preparation for the games in Cambodia, we’re really trying to do our best to prepare the team now, that’s why we started (training) early. We have plans of going abroad and preparing for it. One for Australia, if that doesn’t work we’ll go to Taiwan which is always our haven in training,” explained the veteran tactician.

Currently, Malaysia holds the record for longest championship streak in SEA Games history, winning gold from 1977 to 1987.

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