Playing with just three healthy bodies, RJ Abarrientos and Gilas Pilipinas Men’s 3×3 put up a brave stand in their second game in the qualification round of the 2019 FIBA 3×3 Asia Cup.
However, it was not enough.
The young Filipinos will enter Day 2 with a 0-2 record after falling to a much more experienced Qatar team, 17-21, Wednesday afternoon in Changsha, China.
Gilas 3×3 were without Ricci Rivero in the contest after he sustained a right ankle sprain during the Philippines’ 11-14 loss to Thailand earlier in the day.
Without their top player, the Philippines fell to an early 6-12 deficit. Fadi Abilmona bombed away from downtown, while Bobo Magassa powered his way inside.
The Qatar lead, whose squad is composed of players from club teams Katara and Doha, would lead by as much as 10 points, 6-16.
RJ Abararientos heated up from downtown, knocking down three deuces to give Qatar a late scare as he sliced the lead down to just three, 17-20.
However, Abilmona made sure to end the contest with 1:26 left after knocking down a fadeaway jumper.
Abarrientos had 12 points, built on four deuces. Abilmona powered the 1-0 Qatar squad with nine markers.
The Philippines will next face Iran on Thursday at 10:50 am in a must-win game.
Philippines 17 – Abarrientos 12, Amsali 3, Ebona 2.
Qatar 21 – Abilmona 9, Muslic 5, Magassa 4, Saad 3.