Hours after it was sent crashing by a tall, disciplined Slovenian team, the Philippines downed El Salvador, 21-14, on Wednesday (Manila time) to end its campaign in the FIBA 3x3 World Cup on a winning note in Nantes, France.
The PH team made up of Kobe Paras, Jeron Teng, Kiefer Ravena and JR Quiñahan finished with two wins against the same number of defeats, missing the second round of this week-long tournament where the Filipinos made good account of themselves despite falling short.
Paras and Quiñahan waxed hot from the two-point area while also attacking at will to force the El Salvadorians into penalty early and establish an 18-10 lead which they heroically preserved until the final buzzer.
Although El Salvador scored four straight points to make the score close, the Filipinos responded through Teng, who scored on a layup and Ravena finished things off with a three-pointer, time down to only 80 seconds.
The Filipinos finished with a 2-2 record, beating Romania (21-15) in the opener before dropping consecutive matches against France (11-22) and Slovenia (14-21).
Ravena and Teng led scorers with seven points apiece, Quiñahan had four while Paras finished with three for the Filipinos, who earlier went down in sorry defeat at the hands of Slovenia.
The loss to the heavily-favored, 11th-ranked Slovenians was a costly one for the Philippines.
Led by big Anze Srebovt, the Slovenians scored the game’s first five points then jumped to a 14-4 lead as the Filipinos fired blanks and played miserably.
The Filipinos’ finest moments came when they trimmed the lead to four at 15-11 behind the heady play of Ravena on both ends to bring the elements of a good match back.
But that proved to be the Filipinos’ last big stand.
Two straight baskets from Gasper Ovnik and Simon Finzgar sent the Slovenians up and away again going into the final 1 minute and 21 seconds of the game.
Ravena led the Philippines with seven points to make up for the struggles of Paras, who finished with just four points. Teng had two points and JR Quiñahan a solitary point.
Slovenia, led by Ovnik and Finzgar with seven points apiece, ended the group phase unbeaten in four games to guarantee its place in the quarterfinal round.
- Published in Basketball