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Gilas women succumb to Austria to end FIBA 3x3 Women’s Series quarters bid

MANILA, Philippines -- Gilas Pilipinas women held their own before ultimately succumbing to powerhouse Austria, 18-12, to crash out of contention in the FIBA 3x3 Women’s Series quarterfinals Friday in Ulaanbaatar, Mongolia.

Ranged against the world No. 13 Austria, the Filipina ballers stood their ground in taking an 8-7 lead off a deuce by Hazelle Yam midway through the match but cooled down the rest of the way for the tough defeat.

Gilas yielded to a 6-0 run to stare at a sudden 8-13 deficit and never recovered from there as the fourth-seeded Austrians made their way to the semifinals of the eight-team field.

Samantha Harada tried to inject one last hope on Gilas’ campaign with a long bomb off the glass in the last 1:27 to strike within 10-13 but time wasn’t on their side.

Yam and Harada paced Gilas with four points each while Allana Lim and Kaye Pingol had three and one, respectively. Simone Sill led Austria with 10 points.

It’s the first foray of the Philippine 3x3 women’s team in the top-level FIBA 3x3 Women’s series, the counterpart of the elite FIBA 3x3 World Tour for men.

Gilas arranged a duel against Austria, which finished second in Pool B, after a third-place finish in Pool A.

The Philippines, albeit seeded last in the eight-team field, dropped its first game in the prelims against home bet and world No. 20 Mongolia, 21-10, before returning the favor on the Mongolia U23 team, 21-12.

Gilas, ranked No. 54, also put up a fight against world No. 23 Ukraine, 21-16, for a decent quarterfinal stint.

The Philippines is expected to participate in the next legs of the year-long tournament made up of a total of 20 stops around the world before the finals in September in Hangzhou, China.

Gilas is eyeing to accumulate enough points to qualify in the tour finale and especially to rake in enough ranking points for next World Cup and Olympic cycles for the booming 3x3 discipline.