Filipinos suffer early exit in 2020 FIBA 3x3 Doha tilt

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Photo courtesy: FIBA 3x3 website

Metro Manila (CNN Philippines, November 21) – The Philippine 3x3 team suffered successive defeats as it bows out early at the 2020 FIBA 3x3 World Tour Masters in Doha, Qatar early Saturday morning (Philippine time).

The Philippine 3x3 squad, known as Manila Chooks TM, cannot replicate its 2019 shock victory against World No. 1 Liman as the Serbians' height advantage prevailed over the Filipinos this time.

Down by seven points in the early part of the game at 5-12, top Filipino 3x3 player Joshua Munzon knocked down three deuces and led an 8-2 rally to trim Liman's deficit to one at 13-14 in the 4:16 mark.

The Serbian 3x3 powerhouse squad leaned on their tall frontline of Mihailo Vasic and Stefan Kojic in seizing the lead, while sniper Stefan Stojacic nailed the game-winning deuce to sweep Pool A of the competition.

Munzon led the Filipinos in scoring with nine points, while Alvin Pasaol chipped in four points.

Manila had a chance to salvage a quarterfinal spot in their second game, but hosts Lusail kept their composure in the homestretch.

The Filipinos were able to snatch the lead, 7-6, in the 5:40 mark after a Munzon deuce. Pasaol also contributed in the run with an inside shot and emphatic block over a Lusail player.

The Qataris, however, always got some easy looks inside to stretch their lead to 17-10. Luseil prevailed after 10 minutes of action, 19-14.

Munzon again led Manila Chooks against Luseil with eight points, while Santi Santillan had three points.

The Aldin Ayo-mentored Philippine 3x3 squad failed to replicate its quarterfinal finish in the 2019 edition.

Munzon, Pasaol, Santillan, and Troy Rike were chosen to represent the country in the FIBA 3x3 tilt after their quartet ruled four out of the five legs of the 2020 Chooks-To-Go Pilipinas 3x3 season in October. The country's first professional 3x3 basketball league was held in a 'bubble' inside the National University campus in Calamba, Laguna.