A disastrous start spelled doom for Gilas Men’s U23 as they crashed out of the 19th Asian Games 3×3 quarterfinals, losing to South Korea, 19-16, on Saturday at the Deqing Geographic Information Park Basketball Court in Hangzhou, China.
Coming off a 15-14 win over Kazakhstan to reach the playoffs just four hours prior, the team conceded the game’s first seven points to their well-rested opponents. They trailed for the remainder of the game, eventually ending their hopes of winning a medal.
JR Pasaol led the way with six points, while Bryan Sajonia had four points, and Bismarck Lina and Justine Sanchez added three points each in the loss.
The Filipino youngsters did show some signs of life when they closed the gap to just three points, 18-15, with about 40 seconds left, but that was all they could manage.
Lee Weon-seok made crucial plays on both ends, first scoring a bucket to make it a 19-15 lead and then blocking Sanchez to seal the deal for the Koreans.
Lee himself led South Korea with seven points, while Kim Dong-hyun contributed six points, and Seo Myeong-jin and Lee Doo-won added four and two points, respectively.
With the win, South Korea advanced to a semifinal matchup with Chinese Taipei, who earlier eliminated the host nation, 22-15.
Chinese Taipei was actually one of the teams that the Philippines took down on its way to a 3-0 start into the tournament. But it ended up as the no. 2 team in Pool A when the latter bowed to Mongolia, 21-12, Friday afternoon.
Chinese Taipei also had to go through a play-in round, where they defeated Thailand 19-17 to reach the quarterfinals. But unlike the Philippines, only Chinese Taipei made it to the Final Four after defeating China, the defending men’s 3×3 champion.
The men’s 3×3 semifinals will begin on Sunday, October 1, at 4:50 p.m., starting with a matchup between 3×3 powerhouse nation Mongolia and Qatar.
Philippines (16) – Pasaol 6, Sajonia 4, Lina 3, Sanchez 3.
South Korea (19) – Lee WS 7, Kim 6, Seo 4, Lee DW 2.