Patrick Aquino laments 'one of those days' vs. Indonesia as Gilas Women settle for Southeast Asian Games silver

Philippines exact revenge on Cambodia to reclaim gold (1:22)

Philippines reclaim the SEA Games men's 5x5 basketball gold medal after defeating holders Cambodia in Tuesday's final. (1:22)

The Philippine women's national basketball team -- known as Gilas Women -- entered the 32nd Southeast Asian Games as two-time 5x5 defending champions and the favorites to win a third straight gold medal.

There was reason for the optimism.

The team had been practicing for three months and was welcoming back top center Jack Animam, who missed last year's SEA Games while recovering from a knee injury.

The format was once again a single round-robin affair, with the top team winning gold.

This usually meant that to win it all, a team would have to go on an undefeated run, which Gilas Women did in the previous two editions.

Gilas Women appeared to be on track for another perfect run after trouncing Cambodia and Singapore by an average of 45.5 points.

However, in their next game they picked the worst possible time to have a bad second half as eventual champions Indonesia routed them by 21, virtually ending their gold medal chances.

The team swept their remaining assignments to secure a silver medal, a feat that coach Patrick Aquino said was still noteworthy.

"I feel bad because our target was winning a three-peat, or three consecutive gold medals," Aquino told ESPN. "We couldn't control everything, but I'm still proud of the girls.

"After that bad loss they never gave up. They kept on fighting.

"We came here to represent our country, so (we) try to represent (our) country well all the time. No matter what the result is, as long as they see that you're playing hard, it's fine with us."

Aquino said the loss to Indonesia, where they were outscored 54-31 in the second half, was a confluence of several factors.

"It was one of those days that they were lucky and we were unlucky," he noted. "They were hitting a lot of shots that they don't usually hit according to our scouting report.

"Some of them, it was (their) first time to score those many points or to make those many three-points. And we couldn't shoot.

"You really have to be ready all the time no matter how bad you're playing. At the end of the day, you learn lessons from that loss."

He also revealed that Camille Clarin and Stephanie Berberabe were both battling the flu that day.

And to top it off, star player Afril Bernardino suffered a cut on the bridge of her nose that took her out of the game in the second half.

"I don't want to make excuses but Afril was injured in the third quarter," Aquino said. "That was the time that Indonesia broke away from us. But others have to step up when someone goes down."

With the SEA Games behind them, the team will now turn their attention to the FIBA Women's Asia Cup next month, with Aquino revealing: "We'll be assessing the team again. It's a different scenario, it's a different tournament. I think we need bigger girls right now."

For the long term, the program is looking to get a naturalized player and tap top youth players like Louna Ozar and Kristan Yumul.

"(Samahang Basketbol ng Pilipinas president) Al Panlilio told me about getting a naturalized player," Aquino said. "It's really hard getting a naturalized player for women's basketball.

"It's not just letting her play for the national team. It's giving her a life in the Philippines. That's the way I think about it. But we're trying to get one."

They're also hopeful that Duke Blue Devils guard Vanessa De Jesus can join the pool soon and pave the way for other top Fil-American players to follow suit, as Aquino added: "(She) has been very active now in our communication.

"Once we start with those big names coming in, hopefully other girls come in as well. It's a big boost for us."