BOCAUE Bulacan - Fighting till the very end, the Philippines lost in heartbreaking fashion against Canada, 19-20, in 2018 FIBA 3x3 World Cup on Monday at the Philippine Arena.
With the loss, the Philippines drop to a 1-2 slate, booting them out of quarterfinal contention.
Canada's Michael Linklater hit the heartbreaking basket with 3.2 seconds left to bury the hopes of the Filipinos.
"We're sorry but we're gonna try to come out and win the last game for these people," said coach Ronnie Magsanoc.
The loss was a bitter pill to swallow considering that the Philippines was down big early in the game. After scoring their second point at the 9:15 mark, the Philippines went scoreless for nearly four minutes. A Roger Pogoy two-pointer finally stopped the drought with five minutes remaining.
But the comeback attempt and the near-taste of victory all came in the last two minutes of play.
Down 10-15, Pogoy, along with Christian Standhardinger willed the Philippines back into the ball game. Two teams traded baskets like a pair of heavyweights but Canada still held on to a slim 16-14 advantage with a minute and a half remaining. Pogoy answered the call by hitting a long bomb to tie the game. The Cebuano sharpshooter gave the Philippines a lead after hitting a pair free throws, 18-16.
Canada, who entered the game with a perfect 2-0 record, showed their resiliency and experience. A Jermaine Buckner basket and a Linklater long jumper helped Canada regain the lead.
Even then, the Philippines did not go down quietly. Standhardinger muscled his way inside to tie the game at 19 points apiece. As time dwindled down, Linklater provided the killing blow with his tough lay-in. Pogoy tried to heave a desperation shot as time expired but missed.
Linklater finished with nine points for Canada. For the Philippines, Pogoy had 10 points in the losing effort. Standhardinger had four points, Pringle added three, and Rosario chipped in with two.