CHOOKS-to-Go Pilipinas 3×3 league owner Ronald Mascarinas yesterday rewarded the members of the Gilas women’s 3×3 basketball team that achieved a historic golden feat in the 30th Southeast Asian Games last month, giving them P100,000 each as incentive.
“History was within reach and you all made us proud,” the soft-spoken Mascarinas said after the simple rites at the Bounty Office in Ortigas.
The team, made up of Afril Bernardino, Jack Animam, Clare Castro, and Janine Pontejos, made history in the biennial meet, winning the gold medal in the inaugural staging of the 3×3 competitions in the SEA Games.
After going 4-1 in the preliminary stages, they dispatched Vietnam 21-12 in the semifinals and then got back at Thailand in the gold medal game 17-13.
That success paved the way for a golden double as the Filipinas also ruled the regular women’s tourney, marking the first time the country ruled the event in the regional conclave.
“For women’s basketball, 2019 was a breakthrough year,” said Mascarinas.
Present for the event was Gilas Women’s assistant coach Mark Solano, who came in for head coach Patrick Aquino and Samahang Basketbol ng Pilipinas executive director Sonny Barrios.
Mascarinas plans to expand the local Chooks-to-Go Pilipinas 3×3 League to include women players in February.
“We renewed our commitment. We’re looking at making a 3×3 league for women,” he said, hoping that come 2024, the Philippines can gain automatic qualification for the women’s 3×3 competitions in the Paris Olympics.
“Our target is automatic qualification. In the next four years, we should qualify in the top three,” Mascarinas said.