BOCAUE — Philippine coach Ronnie Magsanoc maintained that expectations remain modest for the men’s 3x3 squad, even after a big win over sixth seed Brazil in the 2018 Fiba 3x3 World Cup on Saturday.
“Honestly, no expectations sa akin eh,” he said. “Ang ipinagdarasal ko lang mabuo sila because I think the biggest challenge when you form a team, an all-pro team for that matter, is the time element.
So kung sila natututo on how to play the game, ako naman pinag-aaralan ko how to manage their time and get them to play well together, pare-pareho kaming natututo at pare-pareho kaming nag-aaral. Pinapabilis lang namin yung proseso kasi yung time element talaga is not on our side.”
A balanced attack lifted the hosts to the early lead in Pool C, and Magsanoc couldn’t be happier with how the players responded to the challenge in their first assignment in the 20-team tournament.
“All we wanted was to be competitive and stay with our opponents para may tsansa tayo sa dulo. But our players were able to jump the gun on Brazil and I think it gave us a good buffer when everybody got tired dahil talagang mapapagod ka eh. I think that’s a very good start for the team,” he said.
The game was a revelation of sorts for the Philippines, seeded 19th.
Stanley Pringle displayed his on-ball wizardry and Roger Pogoy showed that he can stroke it from the outside as Troy Rosario and Christian Standhardinger both muscled their way inside to humble their fancied Brazilian foes.
But Magsanoc remains wary, knowing that after the first game, the shock factor will no longer be in their favor with the opponents already being able to scout the Philippines.
“Nakita na tayong maglaro. So let’s see,” he said, as the team prepares for Mongolia at 6:40 p.m.
“They were the Fiba Asia Champion in 2017 and the FIBA Asia second place team just three weeks ago where they just lost by one point to Australia. So Mongolia is a very, very, very good team,” he said.