Unflappable Michael Linklater silences home crowd with clutch performance for Canada
Michael Licklater gets a step on Christian Standhardinger and takes advantage. Jerome Ascano

BOCAUE — Silence the crowd.

That was exactly Canada’s mission in its 20-19 victory over the Philippines in their Pool C clash in the 2018 Fiba 3x3 World Cup at the Philippine Arena on Monday.

“We’ve been playing 3x3 for a long time and we knew the crowd was going to be a factor for the home team. It was part of our gameplan not to let the crowd rattle us,” said guard Michael Linklater.

The Canadians, seeded 14th, did exactly that as they took a 9-2 lead, but it didn’t take long before the resilient Filipino squad made a fightback in the final two minutes and took an 18-16 lead.

Canada, however, was just too experienced to get rattled.

“We knew they were going to hit some big shots and it’s going to be hard-fought so we just kept our composure,” said the 35-year-old.

With the game tied at 19 and time trickling down, Linklater beat Christian Standhardinger to the cup, scoring the go-ahead layup with two seconds to spare.

Canada later gave credit to a gallant Philippine side.

“The Philippines has a solid team. They are all individually talented,” he said. “It was a tough game that could’ve gone either way and it just fell on our favor. It was a great experience to play in this home crowd.”

Follow the writer on Twitter: @dolphtrythis