Gilas Pilipinas fell in their first two matches on opening day in the 2019 FIBA 3×3 Asia Cup qualifiers in Changsha, China.
The Philippines are down to only three players after Ricci Rivero went down with a sprained ankle in the opening game and lost to Thailand 11-14 on Wednesday. They came back to the court undermanned and lost a hard-fought match to Qatar 17-21.
With a 0-2 mark and only 28 points, Gilas is on the brink of elimination as only one team per group will move on. The Philippines wrap up preliminary play against powerhouse Iran and Samoa Thursday.
In the women’s side, the Philippine women’s team racked up its second win in a row in the qualifying draw of the FIBA 3×3 Asia Cup after slipping past Chinese-Taipei, 16-13, on Wednesday afternoon.
A few hours after crushing Samoa, 21-1, the Filipinas had to battle Chinese-Taipei to the final buzzer.
Jack Animam led the Filipinas with 5 points, while Afril Bernardino and Janine Pontejos each scored 4 markers. Clare Castro added 3.
The Philippines, seeded 10th in the tournament, are on top of Qualifying Draw A ahead of their game against No. 15 Vanuatu Thursday afternoon.
Meanwhile, the Philippine men’s team fell to 0-2 in their own qualifying draw.
With Ricci Rivero sidelined due to an ankle injury, the Philippines bowed to Qatar, 21-17, in their second game on Wednesday.
High school star RJ Abarrientos from Far Eastern University had 12 points, while Rhayyan Amsali had 3 and Barkley Ebona scored 2 points for the Philippines.
But they fell in eight minutes and 36 second to Qatar, who were led by Fadi Abilmona’s 9 markers.
The Filipinos are in fourth place in Qualifying Draw A, just ahead of Samoa. They play Iran and Samoa on Thursday.