The Gilas Pilipinas 3X3 team lost to Qatar 21-12 in the team's opening match in the FIBA 3x3 Olympic Qualifying Tournament Wednesday night in Graz, Austria.
The Philippine side struggled to find its groove in front the Qataris' stifling defense, while failing to curb Qatar's gunner Abdulrahman Saad.
The Qatar side, which earlier beat Dominican Republic, quickly built a 7-0 lead until Santi Santillan broke the ice with a layup.
Johsua Munzon made his presence felt with a couple of long range-shots to cut the deficit to 10-5.
But Saad continued to do damage from the outside and hiked the lead to 12-5.
Gilas tried to rally near the end, but it could get no closer than 9-14.
The Filipinos will next face powerhouse Slovenia at 9:55 p.m.
Only the top two teams in each group will advance to the knockout round. The top three finishers in the OQT will earn tickets to the Tokyo Olympics.
FROM THE ARCHIVES