The Filipino cagers settled for the runner-up honors in the International Basketball Federation (FIBA) 3×3 Under-18 Asian Championships held at the Gem-In shopping mall in Cyberjaya, Malaysia.
The Philippines composed of John Clemente, Kyle Christian Tan, John Martin Galinato and Rhayyan Amsali, failed to retain the crown after absorbing a 9-21 loss to reigning FIBA 3×3 world champion Qatar in the championship round.
The country’s second-place finish, however, was good enough to earn a spot in the prestigious FIBA 3×3 U18 World Championships to be held at the Global Center in Chengdu, China next year.
The Filipinos advanced to the gold-medal match following their 21-16 victory over Indonesia in the quarterfinals and 21-20 come-from-behind win over host Malaysia in the semifinals while Qatar toppled Kyrgyzstan in the quarterfinals (21-16) then routed Japan in the other Final Four game (21-7).
In group stage, the Pinoy squad finished with a 3-1 win-loss record.
They lost to the Qataris in the opening game (15-21) but bounced back with victories over South Korea (21-9), Japan (21-17) and Vietnam (21-6).
Clemente joined Alen Hadzibegovic of Qatar and Yee Tong Heng of Malaysia in the Team of the Tournament. Heng was also named as the tournament’s Most Valuable Player.
In the women’s division, the Power Pinays represented by Kristine Cayabyab, Mary Ann Cayabyab, Jenilyn Gamboa and Cristel Mae Dizon, failed to make it to the quarterfinals after losing all their assignments in the group stage. They succumbed to Sri Lanka (13-15), Japan (11-15), Vietnam (14-21) and Kyrgyzstan (17-21).