The Philippines settled for the silver medal after bowing to Thailand, 7-15, in the men's 3x3 wheelchair basketball final of the 12th ASEAN Para Games at the Morodok Techo National Stadium's Elephant Hall 2 in Phnom Penh, Cambodia.
Malaysia outclassed Cambodia, 17-8, for the bronze medal.
The Filipino Warriors lost to Thailand (6-18) but scored victories over Indonesia (11-5), Cambodia (14-5) and Malaysia (8-7) in the elimination round to arrange a title showdown with unbeaten Thailand.
"We started slow. We just started hitting the mark at the half, unfortunately it was too late. 3x3 is a fast phased game so whoever blinks would be in deep trouble and unfortunately, it was us. In the later part, we played according to our game plan and executed well but it was too late," explained head coach Vernon Perea after the game.
The men's squad duplicated its 2022 performance, the same as the women's team which finished fourth.
The Lady Warriors suffered a 5-8 setback from Laos in the battle for third place.
Cambodia retained the title after beating Thailand 11-9.
"For the women’s team, our performance in the battle for bronze was way much better than yesterday (Friday). We lost to Laos by 2 points. Almost the same story with the men’s team, our first few minutes in the court was not that good but we gained control of ourselves as the game progresses so the girls have managed to keep the game very close till the end. A bit late but still, the girls have played their hearts out in that game. I hope we carry the good vibes into the 5 on 5 matches," commented the 52-year-old Perea, the former member of the Ato Badolato-mentored San Beda College Red Cubs.
Over in chess, Sander Severino, the most be-medalled Filipino with a quadruple gold haul in Surakarta, Indonesia last year, led the country’s strong start as he paced the rapid event of the men’s PI division along with two others including countryman Jasper Rom with perfect two points at the Royal University.
Darry Bernardo and Menandro Redor likewise shared the lead in the men’s B2B3 class as well as Cheyzer Mendoza in the women’s PI section.
The final four rounds of the rapid event are slated Sunday.
The standard event is scheduled from Monday to Wednesday while blitz is on Thursday.
The James Infiesto-mentored squad is out to surpass, if not match, its 10-gold harvest in Surakarta.
Meanwhile, three veterans and two rookies will see action on Sunday in the first day of the powerlifting competition at the National Paralympic Committee of Cambodia (NPCC) Hall.
Achelle Guion (women's up to 45kg), Marydol Pamati-an (up to 41kg) and Romeo Tayawa (men's up to 54kg) are seeking to improve their medal performances at the 2022 edition while Rose Ann Lita (women's up to 50kg) and Jules Empizo (men's up to 49kg) are hoping to make a good impressive as newcomers.
Guion, who competed at the 2012 London Paralympics, delivered two silver medals while Pamati-an and Tayawa bagged two bronze medals each in the 2022 edition hosted by Indonesia.
The national para powerlifting team's coaching staff is composed of Rico Canlas (head), Allan Paje and Daisy Lipasana.
Lipasana, 23, joined the coaching staff team only this year. She is a national powerlifter and had played for the varsity judo team of University of Santo Tomas where she earned a sports management degree (cum laude).