‘Splash sister’ Castillo waxes hot, tows Gilas past India to avoid relegation

PHOTO CAPTION: Khate Castillo, seen here during Gilas Pilipinas women’s game against Chinese Taipei, erupted for seven triples against India in their classification game on the way to 22 points as she and Janine Pontejos paced the Philippine lady cagers to a 74-70 win, avoiding relegation to the tournament’s Division B./iNews (N. Glenn Aragon/Photo courtesy of the FIBA Asia Cup)

(Luisa Morales/Philstar Sports)

MANILA, Philippines—WNBL star Khate Castillo converted on seven triples to lead Gilas Pilipinas women to a 74-70 win over India in the classification game for seventh place in the 2021 FIBA Women’s Asia Cup in Amman, Jordan on Thursday (early Friday morning, Manila time).

Struggling to find their offensive rhythm early—even going down by 10 points against the Indians–the Filipinas were able to turn back the tide and stay in Division A of the tournament.

Success in the endgame began for Gilas at the three-minute mark of the third quarter when they took their first lead since 8-6 after a Clare Castro second-chance bucket, 47-45.

Thanks to Castillo’s hot shooting, the lead ballooned to as big as 11 in the fourth period, 67-56.

But the Indians did not go down without a fight as they fought back and cut the lead to two, 67-65.

Castillo stopped the bleeding with back-to-back triples to pad the Philippines’ lead to 8, 73-65.

Castillo and Janine Pontejos dropped 22 points each for the Gilas women, while Afril Bernardino once again put in an all-around game with nine points, 11 rebounds, seven assists, four steals, and four blocks.

Pushpa Senthil Kumar paced India with 15 points, leading four players in double-digit scoring.

The scores:

PHILIPPINES 74 — Pontejos 22, Castillo 22, Bernardino 9, Clarin 8, Castro 4, Nabalan 3, Tongco 3, Cabinbin 3, Fajardo 0, Prado 0, Cayabyab 0.

INDIA 70 — P. Senthil Kumar 15, S. Senthil Kumar 12, Limaye 10, Kumari 10, Masilamani 9, Arvind 7, Nixon 7, Rani 0, Yadav 0. (Luisa Morales/Philstar Sports)

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