FIBA 3X3: Resilient Manila North falls to Kranj

Naveen Ganglani
FIBA 3X3: Resilient Manila North falls to Kranj
The Filipinos were undermanned after losing Karl Dehesa early in the game

MANILA, Philippines – Manila North’s campaign in the 2015 FIBA 3X3 World Tour Final got off to a sour note in Abu Dhabi as they fell to Kranj of Slovenia, 21-17, in Pool D action on Friday, October 16.

Along with team Doha from Qatar, the 3 teams are vying for an opportunity to make the quarterfinal round of the tourney on Saturday, with only two squads getting to advance.

In earlier action, Doha beat Kranj 16-13.

Manila North trailed Kranj 0-4 early until consecutive baskets by incoming PBA rookie Troy Rosario put them on the scoreboard.

Playing before a crowd that was decidedly pro-Philippines, Manila North managed to stay within striking distance the entire game even as they lost shooter Karl Dehesa with 7:36 remaining.

Dehesa was thrown out of the playing arena after getting up in the face of a Kranj player and pushing his elbow during a dead-ball situation.

Manila North’s opponents extended their lead to 15-7 at one point following a 3-ball, but the Filipinos managed to go on a late hurrah to make the game closer.

A Vic Manuel layup cut Kranj’s lead to 19-14 with 4:21 to go, but a free throw extended that lead back up to 6. Calvin Abueva then put 3 straight points up on the board, but a game-winning layup by their taller opponents put an end to the game with 3:17 left on the clock.

Abueva finished the game leading the way with 9 points, while Rosario and Manuel registered 4 and 3, respectively. Dehesa had one point before getting thrown out.

Kranj entered the contest coming in as the fifth-ranked team, while Philippines is dead last in the World Tour final as they rank number 12.

Abueva, who had his name cheered by the Filipino spectators against Kranj, and his teammates are also scheduled to take on Qatar on Friday.

The champion of the FIBA 3X3 World Tour Final will take home $30,000, while the first runner up will get $20,000. The third placers will win $16,000.

The dunk contest’s qualifying round is also scheduled to be held on Friday. –

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