BOCAUE, Bulacan -- The Philippines refused to end their 2018 FIBA 3x3 World Cup campaign on a losing note and delivered in their final game, getting the 19-12 win over Russia on Monday at the Philippine Arena.
With the 20-19 loss to Canada still stinging, the Philippines let out their frustrations and showed no mercy against the Russians. They dominated the game from start to finish.
Troy Rosario played like a man possessed and knocked down three straight two-pointers to give the home team a 14-3 edge with four minutes remaining. The Philippines never relinquished the lead. Rosario finished with eight points.
Determined to bounce back his poor performance from Canada, Stanley Pringle played aggressive and attacked the basket relentlessly. From a mere 3-point outing earlier in the day, he scored nine points against Russia. Roger Pogoy also added two points in the win.
"It's really unfortunate that we lost against Canada because I felt like it was ours. It was as if it was just taken from us," Pogoy expressed. "We have to learn from this experience. We're all first-timers, there's so many rules."
Christian Standhardinger didn't score a basket but stood toe-to-toe against the taller Russians. The Filipino-German was a beast on the boards, getting extra possessions for Pogoy, Pringle, and Rosario.
"I think it was important for all of us. I think we showed everyone we can compete in this stage," Standhardinger said about their win. "We just need a little bit of experience. We won two games, and the other two, were close. I think we have a good shot next time if we stick together."
The Philippines established a 17-5 lead with less than three minutes to go. Russia, who entered the tournament as the third-seed, tried to make a comeback but time was not on their side. They were able to make it as close as 19-12 before the clock ran out.
"I hope we stay together and we'll have an opportunity to play another tournament together," Standhardinger shared. "I think we'll look different cause we have so much more experience now."
The Philippine men's team ended their 3x3 campaign with a 2-2 record.