THE country faces big and tall odds when Filipino dribblers take on China at the start of the International Basketball Federation (FIBA) Women’s Asia Cup on Monday at the Prince Hamza Hall in Amman, Jordan.

Head Coach Patrick Aquino told BusinessMirror on Sunday that her wards “will give their very best” in the 9 p.m. Group B game against the favorites.

“We will be there to compete and hopefully defy the odds,” said Aquino, who will be missing the services of 6-foot-5 Jack Animam in the Asia Cup because of her historic signing with Radnicki Kragujevac in the Serbian women’s league recently.

“It’s difficult, but I am hoping we can upset the opposition,” he said. “Against China? I hope so.”

China’s 6-foot-1 average in height compared to the Philippines’s 5-foot-8 average already poses a great wall to topple on paper. But Aquino believes his players—led by Southeast Asian Games gold medalists Afril Bernardino, Janine Pontejos and 6-foot-4 Clare Castro—will do everything it takes to give the Chinese a run for their money.

The other members of the team are Ella Fajardo, Khate Castillo, Chack Cabinbin, Andrea Tongco, Ann Pingol, Camille Clarin, Kristine Cayabyab, Mar Prado and Ria Nabalan.

Bracketed with the Philippines and China are Australia and Chinese-Taipei. Up on September 29 for the Filipinas are the Aussies and the Taiwanese on September 30.

Japan, South Korea, New Zealand and India are in Group A.

Aquino trained the team for two weeks at the Summit Point Golf and Country Club in Lipa City.

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