Against a boisterous Filipino crowd, Michael Linklater remained poised, handing Gilas Pilipinas 3×3 a tough, 20-19 loss, Monday afternoon.
Down to a 1-2 record in Pool D, the Philippines is now eliminated from contention in the 2018 FIBA 3X3 World Cup. But the Filipinos showed that they can keep up against one of the world’s best.
Down 2-9 midway through the game, Roger Pogoy and Christian Standhardinger rallied the Filipinos back. Moreover, the Filipinos locked in on Day 2 leading scorer Steve Sir, limiting him to just a point in the game.
Michael Linklater furiously drove to the lanes and connected on buckets to keep Gilas 3×3 at bay, but Pogoy was just too hot to handle. The product of FEU scored six points in a 6-1 run capped by two free throws with 1:14 left to give the Philippines its first taste of the lead.
Jermaine Bucknor scored on a bucket to cut the lead to just a solitary point with 47 ticks remaining, while a Linklater two-ball gave Canada the lead, 16 seconds later.
Needing a bucket, Standhardinger barreled his way to the paint and scored a tough lay-in to tie the contest. However, Linklater was cold-blooded, scoring on a lay-up to give Canada the lead.
A Pogoy desperation two missed its intended target to seal the fate of the Philippines.
“We are sorry. We will try to go out and win this one (last game against Russia) for these people,” was all that coach Ronnie Magsanoc could say.
The Philippines will still face Russia to end the elimination round at 7:00pm. Canada, on the other hand, advances to the next stage of the tournament.
CAN 20 — Linklater 9, Lieffers 5, Bucknor 5, Sir 1.
PHI 19 — Pogoy 10, Standhardinger 4, Pringle 3, Rosario 2.