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    Gilas 3x3 debacle at OQT ends in another loss to France

    May 28, 2021
    PHOTO: Fiba.basketball

    GILAS Pilipinas 3x3 will come home from the Fiba Olympic Qualifying Tournament in Graz, Austria empty-handed after France's 15-14 win on Friday.

    It was a case of too little, too late for the Filipinos as Joshua Munzon and CJ Perez found their touch when the team was already condemned to a fourth straight loss and a bottom finish in Pool C.

    This marks the first time that the Philippine men's national team failed to nab a single victory in an international 3x3 competition.

    Still playing undermanned without the injured Mo Tautuaa, the also-ran Gilas 3x3 side engaged France in a low-scoring affair that saw both teams tied at one with four minutes gone.

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    But Charly Pontens found his stroke and helped Les Bleus erect a 7-2 lead that became a 12-5 advantage with less than two minutes left.

    Gilas 3x3, however, refused to back down as Perez and Munzon brought the team back within two with enough time left to turn the game around.

    Santi Santillan had a chance to cut the lead further, but he could only muster a split from the line to make it 14-12, before Raphael Wilson iced the game with a bucket, time down to 24 seconds.

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      Munzon's deuce at the buzzer made the game closer than it was. The top pick of the last PBA rookie draft led the Philippine side with seven points built on two long bombs.

      Perez added five points and Santillan two for a team that played its final two games without a substitution after Tautuaa went down with an undisclosed injury.

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      Although 3x3 veteran Alvin Pasaol joined Gilas in the trip, a team can no longer make changes to its lineup once the tournament gets going under Fiba 3x3 rules.

      Gentil led France with five points, while Pontens and Antoine Eito had four as the team rose to a 3-0 mark.

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        The scores:

        FRANCE 15 -- Gentil 5, Pontens 4, Eito 4, Wilson 2.
        PHILIPPINES 14 -- Munzon 7, Perez 5, Santillan 2.

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        PHOTO: Fiba.basketball
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