For the first time, a Philippine Men’s National 3×3 Basketball Team ended up winless in a FIBA 3×3 tournament.
Despite a gallant stand, Gilas Pilipinas 3×3’s late surge proved late, falling to unbeaten Les Bleus 3×3, 14-15, to close out its campaign in the 2021 FIBA 3×3 Olympic Qualifying Tournament, Friday evening at Hauptplatz in Graz, Austria.
Ever since the Philippines competed in FIBA 3×3 a decade ago, no men’s team from any age bracket went winless.
Gilas 3×3 lost to Qatar (12-21) and Slovenia (11-21) on Day 1 followed by a crushing 11-22 loss to the Dominican Republic.
Still, with nothing to lose as its Olympic dreams had already been extinguished, the three-man Gilas team made sure to fight in their last game.
Down 12-5 with under two minutes left, the trio of CJ Perez, Joshua Munzon, and Santi Santillan played with a no tomorrow mindset, cutting the lead down to three, 14-11, with 47 ticks left.
Santillan was able to fish a foul from Antoine Eito 10 seconds later. With France already in the penalty, the no. 6-ranked player in the country won two free throws but could only convert one.
Raphael Wilson quickly scored on a layup, though, which proved to be the dagger. A meaningless deuce by Munzon to beat the game clock ended the campaign as he and Perez shared a hug on center court.
Munzon finished with a game-high seven points and five boards, proving why he is the country’s top 3×3 player.
Perez added five markers, while Santillan had two points and five rebounds.
France, who raised their slate to 3-0 for leadership of Pool C, had a balanced score sheet.
Dominique Gentil had five points while Antoine Eito and Charly Pontens had four apiece. Raphael Wilson added two markers.
Depending on the results on Friday, Gilas 3×3 will end their tournament in 18th-20th place.
Philippines 14 — Munzon 7, Perez 5, Santillan 2.
France 15 — Gentil 5, Pontens 4, Eito 4, Wilson 2.