Team Pilipinas could not pull off upsets to open their campaign in the 2018 FIBA 3×3 Under-23 World Cup, Wednesday evening in Xi’an, China.
The quartet of Ricci Rivero, Rhayyan Amsali, RJ Abarrientos, and Jeepy Faundo could not overcome fifth-seed Slovenia to open the day, 21-14, and later on top-seeds Serbia, 21-16.
In the first game, Rivero scored seven points, but the hot-shooting of Slovenia proved to be the difference.
Rivero and Amsali linked up early to help the Philippines keep pace with the Slovenes.
Stojan Dekanović then heated up, while Slovenia used its size to lock down the paint. Down 16-12, Slovenia went on a 5-2 blitz to end the match.
Against the Serbians, the Filipinos showed heart.
Abarrientos sparked the Philippines when the team needed it the most, rallying the team back from 18-7 down to cut the lead down to just three, 19-17.
From hero though, Abarrientos became the villain. The FEU-commit was slapped with a technical foul for flopping. The resulting free throw missed, but Marko Milaković was there to clean it up, knocking down a long two for the win.
The Philippines will next face Turkmenistan at 5:00pm, then host country China at 9:40pm on Friday, October 5.
Philippines 14 – Rivero 7, Amsali 4, Abarrientos 3, Faundo 0.
Slovenia 21 – Dekanovic 7, Ritlop 6, Kovacevic 4, Marinc 4.
Philippines 16 – Abarrientos 6, Rivero 5, Faundo 3, Amsali 2.
Serbia 21 – Stefanovic 11, Novakovic 6, Milakovic 3, Rakonjac 1.
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