HANGZHOU – Left to carry the fight in 3×3 basketball competitions, the Philippine men’s team rose to the occasion and hacked out a 13-8 victory over Jordan in the 19th Asian Games on Monday.
The San Beda connection of JB Sajonia and Bismarck Lina powered the team to victory that somehow softened the impact of the sudden withdrawal of the women’s team early in the morning due to players’ shortage.
Sajonia and Lina combined for 10 points, including four in a row that turned the game around for Gilas at 5-2 after trailing early on in the 10-minute match at the Deqing Geographic Information Park Basketball Court.
The win was the first ever for a 3×3 national team in the Asiad as the Philippines makes its debut in the half-court game.
The Filipino quartet of Sajonia, Lina, Justin Sanchez, and John Ray Pasaol got a passing mark from coach Lester Del Rosario in its opening game, but expects them to improve as a unit as the tournament wears on.
“Medyo nangangapa pa sila. Hopefully, sa next games masasanay na sila,” he said.
The team tackles Chinese Taipei on Tuesday when it resumes its campaign in Group A, where Hong Kong and Mongolia likewise belong.
Philippines (13) – Sajonia 6, Lina 4, Pasaol 2, Sanchez 1.
Jordan (8) – Dajani 3, Al Shiyyab 2, Kanaan 2, Hazaymeh 1.