THE Philippines saw a late rally against Serbia fall short, dropping a 21-16 decision to the world's No. 1 team and going winless after Day One of the 2018 3x3 Fiba Under-23 World Cup in Xi'An, China.
The Filipinos stormed back from an 18-7 deficit to pull within three, 19-16, with 1:01 left to play, but Marko Milanovic drained a clutch two-pointer from the top of the arc to keep the Philippines in the cellar of Pool C with a 0-2 record.
RJ Abarrientos topscored with six points while Ricci Rivero had five for the Filipino youngsters, who went off to a 5-4 lead but couldn't keep the momentum.
Jeepy Faundo was a huge boost in the late fightback, pouring in all of his three points in the final three minutes, while Rhayyan Amsali settled for two points.
The Filipinos lost to Slovenia in their opening game, 21-14.
Luka Stefanovic drained five long bombs to lead Serbia with 11 points, as Milos Novakovic had six. Milanovic also chipped in three points as the top-seed went 1-1 in the first day of competitions.
The Filipinos will try to salvage their campaign on Friday in games against Turkmenistan at 5 p.m. and host China at 8:40 p.m.
SERBIA 21 - Stefanovic 11, Novakovic 6, Milakovic 3, Rakonjac 1.
PHILIPPINES 16 - Abarrientos 6, Rivero 5, Faundo 3, Amsali 2.