BOCAUE, Bulacan - The seemingly overwhelming premise of the Philippines' tough 17-21 loss at the hands of Mongolia on Saturday night at the 2018 FIBA 3x3 World Cup was physicality.
After the Philippines cruised past Brazil in their first game, the team of Roger Pogoy, Christian Standhardinger, Troy Rosario, and Stanley Pringle, found themselves in a dog fight against Mongolia. Right from the opening tip, the game was marred by aggressive play and flared tempers.
In the first 40 seconds of the game, Rosario was blindsided by a nasty backpick by one of the Mongolian players. As the young forward was left on the floor for a couple of seconds, it was just a foreshadowing of the physicality of the game.
Despite taking an 8-3 advantage early in the contest, the Philippines was not able to sustain their momentum. They would eventually falter and their own eagerness to attack got the better off them.
A total of two unsportsmanlike fouls were called on team Philippines within the 10-minute game. Rosario's elbow collided with the back of the head of Enkhbat Dulgun that resulted in the first unsportsmanlike foul. The second infraction was against Pogoy for slapping the arm of Gotov Tsenguunbayar.
Similar to a 5-on-5 game, an unsportsmanlike foul results in two shots at the foul line and ball possession. In a short match such as the 3x3, the two hard fouls really hurt the Philippines.
"I knew it was physical, but when it's close, sometimes you tend to lose your composure. I thought there was a stretch, when Troy got hurt and the referees started calling the deliberate fouls, I thought we lost a bit of our composure," explained coach Ronnie Magsanoc.
To make matters worse for the Philippines, they were called for a total of eight fouls. There's no danger of fouling out but the catch lies in the penalty situation. Team fouls number 7, 8, and 9, give one free throw to an opposing team. In the Philippines' case with Mongolia, their last two fouls resulted in more free throw attempts.
"I thought that there's a thin line, and we thought the other unsportsmanlike foul, was not an unsportsmanlike foul - the challenge by Roger," contested Magsanoc. "If there was one, it's the blindside on Troy. That's unsportsmanlike foul, but those are beyond our control, partly brought by the misjudgment on our part, so we'll just try to be better."
The men's team couldn't catch up with Mongolia and fell to 1-1 at the end of Day 2 of the FIBA 3x3 World Cup
Defending champion Serbia opens its title defense with two wins in their group, with Canada keeping in step.[/left]
PH men's team debuts in style, thumps BraziL
The Philippines gets off to a good start in the FIBA 3x3 World Cup with a convincing win over Brazil.
The intense nature of the game may have been the prevalent theme of the Philippines' second outing, but Standhardinger offered a different perspective.
"The physicality is not the problem. The problem is the inexperience we have," the Filipino-German big man pointed out as their lack of experience led to poor decision-making with their fouls. "We gave up like 8, 10 free throws!"
In the Philippines' four-man crew, only Rosario has 3x3 experience. The change of rules, pace, scoring, and in their case, number of fouls, are all part of the learning process.
"We have to be better. We have to learn to play the 3x3 way. It's all a part of the learning curve, and hopefully we will know how to perform better in the endgame," Magsanoc said.
"This is just experience. It will come," echoed Standhardinger.
Saturday night's game was not just about physicality for the Philippines, more so it was about gaining experience for the future battles ahead.
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