GILAS Pilipinas Women had its hands full against China in the opener of the FIBA Women’s Asia Cup on Monday night, losing, 143-52. — FIBA

THE Philippine national women’s basketball team had it tough against top-ranked China in the opener of the International Basketball Federation (FIBA) Women’s Asia Cup on Monday night, losing, 143-52, in the game held at the Prince Hamza Hall in Amman, Jordan.

China seized the Group B game at the onset, taking full advantage of their edge in height and banking on solid shooting.

The Chinese held a 35-17 advantage by the end of the opening quarter and just continued to build on it en route to the dominant victory.

Liwei Yang led the balanced attack of China, finishing with 21 points and five assists. Centers Yueru Li and Xu Han, meanwhile, added 18 and 17 points, respectively.

As a team, China shot 66.7% from the field (50-of-75) and 54.5% from beyond the arc (12-of-22).

For the Philippines, it was Afril Bernardino who top-scored with 17 points.

Next for Gilas Women is a showdown with Australia on Sept. 29 at 12 a.m.

In the tournament, the goal for the Gilas is to stay in the top three in the grouping to advance to the next rounds and avoid risking being relegated to Division B play in FIBA Asia. — Michael Angelo S. Murillo