It was Sumayah Sugapong’s turn to take the spotlight for Gilas Pilipinas youth team and spearheaded the nationals’ 66-59 victory over Samoa to keep their immaculate record through two games in the FIBA U18 Women’s Championship at the Koramangala Indoor Stadium in Bangalore, India on Tuesday, Sept. 6

Sumayah Sugapong (Photo from FIBA)

Sugapong fired 28 points on top of six rebounds, five assists and four steals to help the Filipinas fend off a pesky Samoa side which kept within striking distance despite trailing for the majority of the match.

Up only by four, 56-52, with a little over five minutes left in the game, Gilas went on a timely 8-0 blast led by Louna Ozar to slam the door on any comeback hopes from Samoa.

The win also came as a redemption of some sort for Gilas who was denied by Samoa a shot at Division I promotion in the U16 tilt after it took down the Filipinas, 88-73, in the semifinals.

Part of that U16 group was Kristan Yumul who made sure to get back at the Samoans with 16 points built on five triples along with five rebounds. Ozar finished with eight points, six of which she produced during the telling run while Kate Bobadilla also chipped in an all-around effort of eight points, nine rebounds and six assists.

Just like in the opener, the Filipinas went off to a rousing start as they took a 21-9 lead in the opening frame. The Samoans though refused to go down without a fight as Kira-Mey Filemu, who paced her team with 19 points, showed the way in a huge second half fightback that cut the lead that ballooned to as many as 15 points to single digits, 49-40, at the end of the third frame.

Up next for Gilas is Maldives on Wednesday at 4 p.m.

Source: Manila Bulletin (