PASAY CITY -- Macabalan "port" girl Andrea Tongco of Cagayan de Oro is set to see action with Gilas Filipinas in the regular 5 on 5 event, even as their 3 on 3 counterparts advanced to the final round on Monday’s women’s basketball after blasting Vietnam, 21-12 at San Juan Arena in the 30th Southeast Asian Games.
Janine Pontijos again sparkled, hitting a couple of 2-pointers including the one that closed the semis match for good. The sleek-moving Pontijos earlier banked on daring inside drives to score 5 points for the Gilas Pilipinas' thrilling 15-13 conquest of Malaysia in the quarterfinals.
"Maayo kaayo modula si Janine, mora’g kahawig ni Tongco maong excited na pud ang Oro fans nga naghulat sa standard event. They’re both big factors in the country's spirited campaign for golds in Seag basketball," said Corpus Christi high school girls' basketball coach Catrina June Pong-Biongcog after watching live streaming of the SEA Games hoopfest in Cagayan de Oro.
Bernardino, Animam and Castro, who combined 10 markers during the quarterfinals victory, also pounded the Vietnam side with strong inside baskets en route to facing either Malaysia or Thailand in the fight for 3 on 3 women’s basketball gold.
"Lingaw kaayo nga magtan-aw sa duol (It's quite entertaining to watch the game from near in flesh). Lakip `mi ga-cheer kang Pontijos kay abi namo’g si Tongco," texted Oro seaman Jong Rañoja, who along with his wife Mirzi Reina, traveled all the way from the City of Gold to witness the biennial meet's grand opening on Saturday at the Philippine Arena in Bocaue, Bulacan and to be with the Filipino athletes' quest for glory.
The Gilas Philippines men were more convincing in besting Myanmar, 21-10 with Jason Perkins leading the scorers anew with his 10. They also manhandled Vietnam on Monday’s semis to face Indonesia in the final.
Among the Mindanao athletes competing in the two week-long SEAG include Cagayan de Oro's Carlo Paalam (boxing), Francis Casey Alcantara (lawn tennis), Janry Ubas (athletics), Yuhei Go, Troy Limbo (football) and Jerald Zabala (marathon), Misamis Oriental's Shaira Damasing and Cristy Joy Roa of women's softball, Bukidnon's Ferdinand Liguanan and Clarence Caasalan (baseball), Sarah Dequinan (athletics), Christine Organiza (marathon), Ma. Theresa Mofar (dragon boat) and Eloiza Luzon (athletics).
Other qualifiers are Jeson Patrombon of Iligan (lawn tennis) and Rheza Aragon of Lanao Norte (taekwondo).