By JONAS TERRADO
Pool C Standings W L
France 2 0
Qatar 2 0
Slovenia 1 1
Philippines 0 2
Dominican Rep. 0 2
5:50 p.m. ‒ Philippines vs Dominican Republic
7:55 p.m. ‒ Philippines vs France
Gilas Pilipinas absorbed a pair of lopsided defeats to open its campaign in the FIBA 3×3 Olympic Qualifying Tournament Wednesday (May 26) in Graz, Austria.
Joshua Munzon, CJ Perez, Mo Tautuaa and Santi Santillan fell, 21-12, to Qatar in its opening assignment before being hammered by world No. 4 Slovenia, 21-11, over an hour later.
In dropping the two abbreviated matches, Gilas’ chances of reaching the quarterfinals are now very slim going into its final two games in Pool C.
Coach Ronnie Magsanoc’s squad takes on Dominican Republic and France, ranked 10th in the world, on Friday, May 28.
France and Qatar share the lead with similar 2-0 slates, Slovenia is in third at 1-1 while Dominican Republic joins the Philippines at the bottom with a 0-2 slate.
The top two advance to the quarterfinals of the OQT which has three spots to the Tokyo Olympics at stake.
Gilas 3×3 started the OQT on the wrong foot as Qatar raced to a 7-0 lead before Abdulrahman Saad frustrated the Filipinos with his fiery shooting from the two-point line.
Munzon, the country’s top player in the halfcourt scene, tried to lead Gilas back but Qatar was able to seal the win with still 1:44 remaining in the contest.
The Philippines made it tight in the early goings in its second match, but Slovenia, composed of world No. 18 Simon Finzgar, No. 23 Gaspar Ovnik, No. 32 Anze Srebovt and No. 35 Adin Kavgic, played a precise game to eventually take a commanding 13-3 lead.