BOCAUE, Bulacan – (2ND UPDATE) The Philippine men's team failed to sustain a fast start and bowed to Mongolia in a heartbreaker, 21-17, in its second game in Pool C in the 2018 FIBA 3x3 Basketball World Cup on Saturday at the Philippine Arena.
The team zoomed to an early 9-5 lead but fell prey to Mongolia's outside shooting, and a last-ditch rally fell short when Tsenguunbayar Gotov drilled a long jumper to peg the final score.
With the result, the Philippines settled for a 1-1 win-loss record in Pool C, putting the hosts in a three-way tie with Mongolia and Russia. Canada (2-0) currently paces the group, while Brazil is 0-2. Only the top two teams in each group will advance to the quarterfinals.
"We had our chances. It's all about knowing how to win in the end, and I think malaki 'yung experience factor ng team ng Mongolia," said Team Philippines coach Ronnie Magsanoc. "No excuses naman kami because I thought that we had chances to stay ahead, but a lot of factors."
Brimming with confidence from its win over Brazil earlier in the day, the Philippines raced to a quick 3-0 lead, then made it 9-5 with 6:29 to play off a lay-up by Christian Standhardinger.
But an unsportsmanlike foul called on Troy Rosario fired up the Mongolians and got them into a rhythm. The Philippines still had a slim lead, 11-10, when Roger Pogoy was also assessed an unsportsmanlike foul; the resulting possession saw Mongolia score three points, capped by a jumper from Delgernyam Davaasambuu for a 13-11 lead.
"We thought na 'yung ibang unsportsmanlike fouls, was not an unsportsmanlike foul, the challenge by Roger," said Magsanoc, referring to Pogoy's attempt to block Gotov that was assessed as a deliberate foul. "But those are beyond our control, partly brought by the misjudgment on our part."
Mongolia went on to lead by four, 18-14, with 2:15 to go before a Pringle long bomb and a Standhardinger lay-up made it a two-point game, 17-19, with still 1:49 left.
Just nine seconds later, however, the Philippines' hopes were dashed when Gotov knocked down the game-winner, much to the dismay of the partisan crowd at the Philippine Arena.
"When I looked at the score they were already at 19. One thing I learned from watching the elite teams, when they get at 19, they'll take the two-point shot no matter what. So we're still there, but they closed it out with the two-pointer," said Magsanoc.
"So we have to learn quickly and have to fast-track it so we'll be ready for Monday again," he added.
Pogoy scored six points, Pringle and Rosario each had four, and Standhardinger added three for the Philippines.
Gotov was a thorn on the side of the Filipinos all game long and finished with seven points.
The Philippines takes a one-day break before returning to action on Monday against Canada and Russia.
MONGOLIA 21 — Gotov 7, Enkhtaivan 6, Davaasambuu 6, Enkhbat 2.
PHILIPPINES 17 — Pogoy 6, Pringle 4, Rosario 4, Standhardinger 3.
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