Gilas Pilipinas 3×3 got off on the wrong foot in the FIBA 3×3 Olympic Qualifying Tournament after absorbing a 21-12 loss to Qatar in its opening game in Graz, Austria on Wednesday, May 26.
The Filipinos failed to recover from their lethargic start as the Qataris seized a 7-0 lead en route to the blowout victory in their Group C clash.
Abdulrahman Saad starred for Qatar with 10 points built on four two-pointers to go with 5 rebounds, while Nedim Muslic torched the Philippines with 9 points and 3 rebounds.
CJ Perez kept Gilas 3×3 within shouting distance after drilling in a long bomb to trim their deficit to 6 points, 11-17.
However, Saad and Muslic drained back-to-back two-pointers as Qatar wrapped up the win with 1:44 minutes left to play.
Perez led the way for the Philippines with 5 points and 7 rebounds, while Joshua Munzon – the top-ranked 3×3 player in the country – had 5 points and 3 rebounds in the loss.
While Qatar shot a scintillating 60% from one-point range and a respectable 43% from two-point distance, the Philippines struggled with its offense.
Gilas 3×3 made only 33% and 36% of its one-point and two-point attempts, respectively, and missed all of its three free throws.
The Philippines will try to bounce back against Slovenia – the No. 4 ranked team in the world – later in the day at 9:35 pm.