After missing three potential game-tying shots against Germany last Friday, Janine Pontejos needed to bounce back. And she did so by scoring at-will against Pool D leaders Spain.
However, it was not enough, as the 13th-ranked team in the tournament survived Pontejos’s explosion, taking a 21-17 win, Sunday afternoon.
“It was better, it’s another good game for us. I know Spain had a hard time today. I was hoping na medyo mas dikit pa, but anyway, again experience-wise kulang, kulang pa rin. But the game was close. May mga calls lang na kaunti na medyo numipis noong huli,” shared head coach Patrick Aquino.
With the win, Spain officially booked its slot to the next round with a 3-0 record while eliminating the Philippines from contention, as the hosts hold a 0-3 card.
The 25-year-old gunslinger single-handedly pushed the Philippines early, scoring 8 of the first 10 points of Perlas 3X3 to give her team a 10-8 edge midway through the game.
Paula Palomares then set up a duel with Pontejos, scoring the next five points of Spain for a 13-11 edge.
Pontejos continued to stay hot, but Aitana Cuevas Mediavilla, Vega Gimeno Martinez, and Nuria Martinez Prat used their height advantage to extend Spain’s lead to six, 20-14, with 4:03 remaining.
With Spain just a point away from ending the game, Gemma Miranda and Pontejos tried to stop Spain from reaching match point. But Perlas could not secure the rebound that led to a Palomares bucket.
Pontejos scored 13 points, winning her duel against Palomares – who tallied 11 markers.
Perlas 3×3 ends its campaign later in the night against Hungary at 7:00pm.
“So I’m hoping na sana maka maski one game, one win for the Philippines para masaya naman bago mag-exit,” Aquino admitted.
ESP 21 – Palomares 11, Martinez Prat 4, Cuevas Mediavilla 4, Gimeno Martinez 2
PHI 17 – Pontejos 13, Miranda 3, Bernardino 1, Animam 0.