IN PHOTOS: Perlas Pilipinas defeats India in historic win
MANILA, Philippines - A wise person once said "sports don't build character; they reveal it." At the 2015 FIBA Asia Championship in Wuhan, China, the women's basketball team of the Philippines showed that beneath their Perlas Pilipinas jersey lie hearts of champions.
Heroes come in all shapes and forms. Like Allana Lim, the 5-foot-8, former Far Eastern University star who led the Perlas with 15.3 points and 6.7 rebounds per game; or former UAAP MVP Merenciana Arayi from Pangasinan, whose 28 points in an overtime victory over Kazakhstan cemented their first place finish in Group B; or 24-year-old Cindy Resultay, who iced a pivotal 1-point victory over North Korea that turned the team's fortunes after an opening loss to Malaysia.
In the Philippines' victory over India, 82-76, on Friday, September 4, it was former National University standout Afril Bernardino who scored 32 points and to go along with 5 rebounds and 5 assists.
There was also head coach Patrick Aquino, who overcame a first practice session where none of his players showed up, and who had to redirect the team's disappointment over a fourth place finish at the 2015 Southeast Asian Games to resolution for a strong showing at FIBA Asia.
Along the way the team ranked no. 58 by FIBA had to defeat 3 times ranked higher than themselves (plus the also 58th ranked Hong Kong) to earn promotion to Group A at FIBA Asia.
Their games may not be televised, but what these women accomplished as underdogs won't soon be forgotten.