Munzon The Philippines’ Joshua Munzon drives against Slovenia’s Gasper Ovnik during the FIBA 3×3 Olympic qualifying tournament Wednesday in Graz, Austria. Photo courtesy of FIBA

Pinoy 3×3 bets falter

May 28, 2021 Theodore P. Jurado 164 views

THE Philippines absorbed consecutive defeats to Qatar and Slovenia to put itself on the brink of elimination in the FIBA 3×3 Olympic Qualifying Tournament Wednesday in Graz, Austria.

After a 12-21 loss to the Qataris in the opener, the Filipinos played much better but still suffered a lopsided 12-21 setback from the hands of the Slovenians.

Winless in two Group C matches, the Philippines is now hard pressed to win its remaining games and hope for a miracle to remain in the hunt for a spot in the Tokyo Olympics.

Qatar and France share the lead in their bracket at 2-0, while Slovenia sits in third place with a 1-1 card.

The Filipinos will next play Dominican Republic before wrapping up their pool matches against France today.

With the country’s top-ranked 3×3 player Joshua Munzon leading the way, the Philippines was able to take a 4-3 lead against Slovenia.

But the Slovenians unrattled 11 straight points, as Gasper Ovnik and Simon Finzgar waxed hot from the two-point area to put the game beyond recall.

Munzon paced the Filipinos with seven points, while CJ Perez, finished with three points.

The Philippines’ weaknesses was shown right on its first match.

Against the Qataris, the Filipinos were groping in form as their much-taller and quicker opponents raced to a 7-0 lead.

Santi Santillan, who replaced the country’s No. 2 Alvin Pasaol on the eve of the tournament, ended the Philippines’ dry spell by scoring its first point.

Munzon then fired back-to-back two-pointers for the Filipinos to cut the Qataris’ lead to 10-5.

Qatar then pulled away to a 14-6 advantage en route in claiming the opener.