Chooks-Pilipinas 3×3 settled for a 1-1 record in their opener in the 2017 FIBA 3×3 World Cup in Nantes, France on Sunday (Monday morning in Manila). The four-man team of Kobe Paras, Jeron Teng, Kiefer Ravena, and JR Quinahan are grouped in Pool B of the tournament and faced Romania and France in their first assignments.
Led by Paras, the Philippine team kicked off their campaign on a blazing start by winning against Romania, 21-15. Paras waxed hot from all over the court, going for a team-high 12 points.
The Philippines were down 4-7 against Romania in the early goings. Romania, a team that boasts the seventh-best ranking in FIBA 3×3 competition, immediately displayed their strength and height to overpower the much smaller Filipino squad.
Teng spearheaded the comeback thanks to an and-one opportunity followed by a Paras behind-the-back drive to the basket to tie the score at seven points apiece with 6:30 to go.
Paras continued to show his scoring prowess throughout the contest, but Kiefer Ravena also came up big in the endgame. The score was knotted up 13-13 before a Ravena drive plus an and-one opportunity made it 15-13 with a little over a minute left in the game. The two-time UAAP MVP then followed it up with a huge long bomb to push the Filipino lead to four. Romania answered back with their long two, but Paras applied the finishing touches with a shot from downtown plus a free throw.
— FIBA3x3 (@FIBA3x3) June 18, 2017
The victory and celebration for the Filipinos were unfortunately cut short as they fell to hosts France in their second game, 22-11.
France’s Charly Pontens, Dominique Gentil, Angelo Tsagarakis, and Charles Bronchard proved to be too much for the Philippines. Right from the get-go, France displayed their daunting size, and topped it off with their impeccable shooting from the perimeter.
The score was 8-5 with 5:40 remaining off a Ravena bucket. Unfortunately for the Philippines, they would struggle for the remainder of the contest. The lead ballooned to as much as 20-10 before Ravena converted on a tough fall away. France countered right back with a long two to earn the victory.
The Philippines will resume action on Wednesday when they take on Slovenia (1:40am MNL time) and El Salvador (3:00am MNL time).