Perlas Pilipinas hopes to make up for speed and quickness what it lacked in height and experience when it bids in the FIBA Asia Women’s Cup in Bangalore, India next week.
It’s the first time the Filipina cagebelles under coach Patrick Aquino will be seeing action against the finest women’s teams in the region following their stunning promotion to Level 1 during the 2015 FIBA Women’s Asian Championship in Wuhan, China.
The campaign is expected to be a tough one where the country is bracketed in Group B along with South Korea, Australia, and defending champion Japan led by Ramu Tokashiki, who plays for the Seattle Storm in the WNBA.
Group A meanwhile, is composed of New Zealand, Chinese Taipei, North Korea, and China.
Being new at such level of competition, Aquino is aware the team will be at a disadvantage as far as experience is concerned, a factor which he hopes the Filipinas could counter with their quickness and athleticism.
“We’re much faster because we’re smaller. As far as talent is concerned, hindi naman talaga nagkakalayo,” said the Perlas Pilipinas coach in the weekly Philippine Sportswriters Association (PSA) Forum at the Golden Phoenix Hotel.
“But the experience they have yun talaga ang malaki (na advantage nila sa atin).”
Veterans Afril Bernardino and team captain Allana Lim banner the team.
The team immediately opens its campaign against the reigning champion on July 23 at the Sree Kanteerava Indoor Stadium, followed by Australia on the 24th, and South Korea on the 25th.
The top five finishers in the tournament will earn berths to the 2018 FIBA Women’s Basketball World Cup in Spain.