|Michael Linklater stayed poise despite the crowd helping Gilas' cause. Nikki Collantes|
By Ivan Saldajeno
BOCAUE--As per Michael Linklater, Team Canada somehow knew already that the long-time conjecture about Filipino basketball fans is true.
With a spot in the FIBA 3x3 World Cup quarterfinals virtually on the line on Monday night at the Philippine Arena, Gilas got a "fourth man" in the game in the raucous crowd that motivated the team to complete a comeback from 2-9 down.
"We've been playing 3x3 for a very long time, and we knew the crowd was going to be a factor for the home team," said Linklater.
But he made the shots that mattered, a go-ahead two-ball and the game-winning layup, as Canada ousted Gilas in the end, 20-19.
[Related Story: Canada survives late Pogoy explosion, downs Gilas]
"It was part of the game plan not to let the crowd rattle us. We kept our composure," Linklater continued.
Still, he commended Gilas for the gallant stand.
"The Philippines has a solid team. It was a tough game that could have gone either way," Linklater said in particular. "It just fell on our favor."
He then lauded the Filipino fans that braved the storm to come to the venue, saying, "It was a great experience to play in front of this hometown crowd."
Canada, which eventually completed a sweep of Pool C with a 22-4 thrashing of Brazil later Monday, will face the Netherlands in the quarterfinals on Tuesday.
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