Afril Bernardino and Andrea Tongco are raring to get back on the grind for Gilas Pilipinas Women after graduating from the Philippine Navy.
Program director and concurrent national team coach Pat Aquino was on hand for the duo’s recognition rites on Tuesday at Fort Bonifacio.
“We’re very proud of these girls. They continue to show that they aren’t just ready to answer the call of the country on the basketball court but also now on the field as they are officially part of the Navy,” he said.
Bernardino and Tongco completed the Sailor Basic Course as part of Mahitala (Mandaragat na Hinubog ng Talino at Lakas) Class 22, 23, 24, and 25.
Aquino is excited to have the two back in the fold, with their partnership dating back to their days in National University.
The two are sure to give Gilas Pilipinas Women a boost as they prepare for the big events this year.
Slated in the coming months are the 32nd Southeast Asian Games in Cambodia in May, where the Philippines seeks to claim a third straight gold medal; and the 2023 FIBA Women’s Asia Cup in Australia in July, where the country seeks to remain in the Division A.
“We can’t wait to have Afril and Andrea rejoin our pool,” said Aquino. “We’re just eternally grateful for the schools and the clubs who are very supportive of the national team and continue to be our partners in advancing the cause of women’s basketball here in our country.”