AFTER weeks of training, the Team Pilipinas get its baptism of fire in the Fiba 3x3 World Cup in Nantes, France with a game against fancied Romania.
The squad made up of NCAA Division I cager Kobe Paras, amateur stars Kiefer Ravena and Jeron Teng, and PBA player JR Quinahan opens its campaign against seventh-seed Romania in Group B action at midnight of Monday (Manila time).
The Filipinos, accompanied by Anton Altamirano in the trip, will play their second match of the day against France at 3:10 a.m in a field where they are seeded 18th in a field of 20 teams.
As if the two squads aren't formidable enough, the Philippine squad will be taking on second-seed Slovenia in the continuation of pool play on Tuesday before capping off the preliminaries against El Salvador.
The top two teams in each of the four groups will move to the quarterfinal round.
The competition is already in full swing with top-seed Serbia winning its two matches in Group A against Egypt, 17-15, and Russia, 20-17.
Fifth-seed Netherlands overcame South Korea, 22-6, and fourth-ranked United States, 19-12, in Group D.