In their first meeting since the quarterfinals of the 2019 FIBA 3×3 Under-18 World Cup, the Philippines kept close against China but still could not overcome the top-ranked team, falling 14-16, Thursday.
With the loss, Gilas Pilipinas Girls’ 3×3 need to win their game against Malaysia at 9:40 pm to advance to the knockout playoffs of the 2019 FIBA 3X3 Under-18 Asia Cup.
But unlike their 12-21 loss to China last June 7, the nationals had a chance to stun China.
Down by three with under four minutes left, Kristine Cayabyab proved her worth as she and Camille Clarin sliced the lead down to 12-13 with 2:32 left.
Mao Zhang scored on an and-one afterward, but pint-sized guard Ella Fajardo answered right back with a strong drive with just 46 seconds left. Angelica Surada forced a turnover seconds later that led to a Clarin basket 38 seconds later.
Forced to foul, Fajardo sent Xianglin Wu to the stripe with 2.8 remaining. Wu split her charities that gave the Philippines a chance to send the game to suddent death.
However, Clarin could not attempt a final shot as the Chinese advance to the next round after sweeping Pool A.
Cayabyab led the Philippines with six points, while Fajardo and Clarin added four markers each.
Zhang was unstoppable for China with nine points built on two deuces, three free throws, and two one-point shots.
Philippines 14 – Cayabyab 6, Fajardo 4, Clarin 4, Surada 0.
China 16 – Zhang 9, Chen 4, Li 2, Wu 1.