By Michael Angelo S. Murillo
BOCAUE, BULACAN — The Philippine women’s team had a tough start to its FIBA 3X3 World Cup campaign, losing its opening two games in Day One of the tournament on Friday at the Philippine Arena in Bocaue, Bulacan.
Team Philippines, composed of national team members Jack Animam, Afril Bernardino, Gemma Miranda and Janine Pontejos, lost to the Netherlands, 21-11, in its opening game before bowing to Germany, 12-10, later in the day.
Against Germany, the Philippines showed more composure but just could not hit the needed shots in the end to hack out the win.
The Germans started the game with a 3-0 run.
But the Philippines would narrow the gap after with baskets from Misses Animam and Bernardino, coming to within one point, 3-2, with 6:34 left on the clock.
Behind Luana Rodefeld and Laura Zdravevka though the Germans would keep the home team at bay.
The score was at 11-9, and Germany up, with 2:16 to go after which the two teams exchanged baskets.
Down by two, 12-10, the Philippines tried to even the count, but four attempts from two-point territory failed to connect, sending the team to its second defeat.
Ms. Bernardino finished the game with six points while Gemma Miranda had two.
Misses Zdravevska and Wiebke Bruns paced Germany with four points each.
AGAINST THE NETHERLANDS
Earlier in the day, Team Philippines stood toe-to-toe with the Dutch players in the early goings of their game but faltered as the game progressed en route to the 21-11 defeat.
Ms. Pontejos led the Philippines against the Netherlands with six points, all coming from two-point territory with Ms. Bernardino adding four. Ms. Animam accounted for the remaining point.
Karin Kujit, meanwhile, led the Netherlands with eight points, four coming from two-point land.
“The effort was there but we are up against more experienced teams and it showed today. But we hope to learn from this. I always say exposure is the key in these kinds of tournament,” said coach Patrick Aquino.
The Philippine women’s team next plays on Sunday, June 10, against Spain and Hungary in Pool D.
The Philippine men’s team composed of Philippine Basketball Association stars Stanley Pringle, Christian Standhardinger, Troy Rosario and Roger Pogoy begins its World Cup campaign on Saturday, June 9.
The FIBA 3×3 World Cup is ongoing until June 12.