PH falls short vs Netherlands in FIBA 3x3 U18 World Cup

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By Julian Reyes

MANILA--The Philippines battled their way but eventually fell short against a taller Netherlands side, 10-13, to drop to a 1-1 card in the Day 1 of the 2017 FIBA 3x3 U18 World Cup at the New Century Global Center, late Wednesday.

The Filipinos went off to a hot start, leading the top-seed Netherlands 5-2 but could not sustain the fire as the Dutch capitalized on their size advantage to rally back and notch their second win in as many games.

Led by 6-foot-6 Reva Tholel's hot shooting, the Netherlands blasted an 8-1 run midway to build a lead of as much as four, only to withstand a Philippines' attempted comeback to get the victory.

Netherlands (2-0) now top the Pool A, while the Philippines tie Israel and Poland for the second to fourth place.

Encho Serrano top-scored the Philippines anew as he finished with four points, but his teammates struggled and committed several key turnovers late in the game.

Miguel Gomez De Liaño, who hit four 2-pointers earlier against Israel, was held to just one shot from beyond the arc this time and only had four points overall.

The door remained open for the Philippines with under a minute remaining after AJ Edu completed a putback off Serrano's missed to tie the game at 10, but Gomez De Liaño committed two consecutive turnovers and bungled an open two-pointer that could send the Philippines to the victory.

Tholel and Maik Bouwer recorded five points apiece for the Dutch, while Boyd Van Der Vries had three.

Despite the loss, the Philippines still had a chance to advance to the quarterfinals if they defeat Poland (1-1) and Turkmenistan (0-2) on Friday.

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