Perlas Pilipinas avoided relegation to Division B with a convincing 78-63 victory over DPR Korea to finish at seventh place in the 2017 FIBA Asia Women’s Cup at Kanteerava Stadium in Bangalore, India.
With their Division A status in peril, the Philippines team put up their best performance on the last day of the tournament, pulling away in the second quarter and never looked back to retain the status they gained two years back in China.
The North Koreans, on the other hand, have been relegated to Division B once again after losing all their five games by an average margin of 23 points. They will be replaced by the victor of the India’s and Kazakhstan’s final game in Division B.
Allana May Lim, who was a key player for Perlas Pilipinas’ promotion to Division A of this year’s Asian meet, was solid again, finishing with a team-high 16 points on 8 of 10 shooting to lead the team.
Analyn Almazan added 13 points, while Cindy Resultay scored eight of her 10 points in the pivotal second canto, where the Philippines outscored Korea, 29-10, to take a 47-23 lead at the break.
The Patrick Aquino-mentored Philippine side, who averaged just 56 points in their first five games, showed a vast improvement in almost every facet of the game, making half of their shot attempts and dishing 17 assists en route to the wire-to-wire victory.
Kim Mi Hyang drilled six 3-pointer to lead the Koreans with 20 points, while Ro Suk Yung and Kim Hyang Ok finished with 17 and 13, respectively. –Julian Rikki C. Reyes