BOCAUE, Bulacan - After a highly contested and extremely physical battle, the Philippines was not able to overcome Mongolia, losing 17-21, in their second game of the 2018 FIBA 3x3 World Cup on Saturday night at the Philippine Arena.
Gotov Tsenguubayar knocked down the heartbreaking two-pointer that sealed the win for Mongolia.
Stanley Pringle led a valiant effort for the Philippine squad with six points followed by four points each from Roger Pogoy and Troy Rosario. Christian Standhardinger contributed three points.
"We had our chances. It's all about knowing how to win in the end, and I think the experience factor of Mongolia is huge," pointed out coach Ronnie Magsanoc. "No excuses still because I thought that we had chances to stay ahead."
It was an unfortunate loss for the Philippines who could not sustain their hot start. They stunned their opponent with an 8-3 early lead behind a Roger Pogoy two-pointer.
However, the backbreaker for the Philippines was not just the resilient play of 11th seed Mongolia, but their own aggressiveness.
Two unsportsmanlike fouls were called on the Philippines that led to their demise. In 3x3 play, an unsportsmanlike foul results in two free throws plus ball possession. The first infraction was called on Rosario's elbow against Enkhbat Dulgun. From a two-point deficit for Magnolia, they were able to tie the game at 9 apiece with six minutes remaining.
The second unsportsmanlike foul was on Pogoy for hitting Gotov on the arm as the Mongolian was going for a lay-up. That resulted in another free throw and an extra possession which gave Mongolia a 13-11 lead.
From then on, the foul penalty situation caught on for the Philippines. During the latter part of the game, every foul called resulted in more chances at the charity stripe for the other team.
A drive by Pringle and short stab by Standhardinger made it 19-17 but Gotov provided the killing blow with his long bomb.
"The physicality is not the problem. The problem is the inexperience we have," lamented Standhardinger who mentioned that their fouls compounded their endgame.
The Philippines is now 1-1 in Pool C and will resume action on Monday.