SEA Games: Pontejos, Philippines begins defending the title with the defeat of Cambodia

FILE – Janine Pontejos. Tristan Tamayo /

MANILA, Philippines – The Philippines destroyed Cambodia, 21-5, on Friday afternoon, defending its title in the right-footed 3 × 3 women’s race in Southeast Asia.

Janine Pontejos, who was crowned queen of the 3 × 3 World Cup here four years ago, shot the basketball with deadly accuracy, finishing with eight points in the Thanh Tri Gymnasium in Hanoi, Vietnam.

Clare Castro was an undisputed force down, adding seven more to a trip that looked like a replica of the male conquest of Cambodia just hours earlier.

Afril Bernardino and Angel Surada scored three points each to give the Philippines a confidence-building victory ahead of the clash with host Vietnam, which was played at 4pm also on Friday.

Gilas came out hard through the gates, turning the start 4-0 behind experienced veterans Castro, Bernardino and Pontejos. The Cambodians tried to make it a little interesting in the middle of the clash, but the Filipinos returned from a timeout with double enthusiasm, shooting basketball with confidence and combining it with constant effort from the other side to score nine points in a row and seal their first win in the campaign.

Also for the Philippines is Thailand, which was satisfied with a silver medal after falling from Gilas in the edition of the two-year tournament organized in Manila in 2019.


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