MANILA, Philippines – As far as Southeast Asian Games basketball is concerned, 3×3 basketball is a different beast.
That has been the proven case as the Philippines suffered unexpected losses at the start of the SEA Games men’s and women’s 3×3 basketball tournament in Hanoi, Vietnam on Friday, May 13.
Defending champion Gilas Men 3×3 fell short of a sweep of their first three games after a stunning 13-15 defeat at the hands of Indonesia.
Beating Cambodia, 19-7, and Thailand, 21-16, earlier, the Filipinos – composed of Brandon Ganuelas-Rosser, Jorey Napoles, Marvin Hayes, and Reymar Caduyac – wasted a 6-3 lead as the Indonesians pulled off the upset.
It was an unprecedented loss for Gilas Men 3×3, who swept their way to the gold in the 2019 SEA Games when they were still bannered by PBA standouts CJ Perez, Chris Newsome, Mo Tautuaa, and Jason Perkins.
Currently sitting at second place with a 2-1 record behind unbeaten Vietnam (4-0), the Philippines will still play Singapore, Malaysia, and Vietnam on Saturday.
Meanwhile, Gilas Women 3×3 fizzled out after starting their campaign with a 21-5 whipping of Cambodia as they lost their next two games.
The Philippines wrapped up the day with an 18-21 loss to Vietnam and a 14-21 defeat to Thailand to land at fifth place with a 1-2 record.
But the foursome of Afril Bernardino, Janine Pontejos, Clare Castro, and Angelica Surada can still climb up the standings as they tangle with Singapore, Indonesia, and Malaysia on Saturday.
Gilas Women 3×3 also succumbed to Vietnam in the 2019 SEA Games, but went on to win their next three matches to power the country to a double gold in 3×3 basketball.
Both the men’s and women’s teams need a top-four finish to advance to the knockout semifinals, with the finals also to be staged on Saturday. – Rappler.com