BOCAUE, Bulacan — Ronnie Magsanoc admitted inexperience played a hand in Gilas Pilipinas’ loss to Mongolia in the Fiba 3x3 World Cup on Saturday at the Philippine Arena.
The head coach of the Philippine 3x3 squad said Mongolia’s experience in the 3x3 game showed in a game where the host team wasted a lot of chances.
“We had our chances,” Magsanoc said. “It’s all about knowing how to win in the end and I think mas malaki ‘yung experience factor ng Mongolia. No excuses naman kami because we thought we had our chances to stay ahead.”
“There were a lot of factors — team chemistry, missed decisions, defensive breakdowns sa coverages,” said Magsanoc.
Gilas fell to 1-1 entering their final two games to be played on Monday in Pool C. Canada and Mongolia occupied the first two spots in the team standings with the Philippines in fourth spot.
Gilas Pilipinas opened an 8-3 lead but hot-shooting Mongolia wrested control late behind Tsenguunbayar Gotov's two two-pointers, none bigger than the one that sealed the win.
Magsanoc said Mongolia showed why they are one of the top 3x3 teams in Asia against Gilas. Mongolia, which is making its 3x3 World Cup debut, captured the title in the Asian Cup last year.
“When I looked at the score, they were already at 19. One thing I learned from watching the elite teams is when they get to 19, they will take the two-point shot no matter what. We were still there but they closed it out with a two-pointer.
Troy Rosario and RR Pogoy were called for unsportsmanlike fouls on two separate occasions in the highly physical game - Rosario for a wayward elbow and Pogoy for a block attempt on the chasedown.
Magsanoc felt the team lost composure in the face of the physicality.
“Alam mo naman na there is a thin line. I thought ‘yung ibang unsportsmanlike fouls were not unsportsmanlike fouls. If there is one, ‘yung kay Troy. But that’s beyond our control. Probably misjudgment on our part,” Magsanoc said.
“I knew it was physical pero pagdating sa malapitan, sometimes you tend to lose composure. I thought there was a stretch that when Troy got hurt and the referees started calling the deliberate fouls, I thought we lost a bit of our composure. We have to be better. We have to learn to play the 3x3 way.
“It’s part of the learning curve. Hopefully, we will learn and perform better sa dulo,” said Magsanoc.