Kobe Paras & Team PH beat Kazakhstan but fall to Russia in Day 2 of FIBA 3X3 World tilt
An official intervenes after Russian Alexey Toporkov shoved Team PH member Richard Escoto to the ground. Screengrab from FIBA

TEAM Philippines, led by teen phenom Kobe Paras, again split its assignments on Day 2 of the FIBA 3x3 Under-18 Championships in Hungary.

Playing at an outdoor court in Debrecen, Paras & Co. handily defeated Kazakhstan in the first game, 13-8, before succumbing to Russia, 21-9.

Playing aggressive defense and a passing game against the Kazakhs, the Pinoy cause was led by Michael Nieto who scored six points while Paras, who led all scorers in Day 1 action, finished with three points.

Ricci Rivero pitched in three and Richard Escoto added a single point.

In the second match, the Russians used their size to complement their outside game as they outplayed the Filipinos, who suffered their worst loss in the tournament for players 18-and-under.

Down 0-6, the Filipinos' repeated attempts from beyond the arc fell flat as they were reduced on making individual plays before Paras, held to just four points, sank a freethrow.

Nieto and Rivero finished with two points apiece while Escoto had a point. 

With Russia up 15-7, Alexey Toporkov delivered a shoulder blow on Escoto at the low post, sending the Filipino sprawling to the ground and nearly triggering a scuffle that was immediately averted by officials. 

With an even 2-2 record, the Filipinos will next face Uruguay (1-3) on the Main Court with the hope of improving their chances of making it to the next round.

The top two teams from the four brackets will advance to the knockout quarterfinals.

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