By Kevin Sox
In an anti-climactic finish to their dream starts yesterday, the Philippine squads of Pasig and Balanga failed to advanced past the quarter-finals of the 2019 FIBA 3×3 World Tour Doha Masters, losing to their respective opponents on Friday (Manila time).
Both Pasig and Balanga made waves yesterday in the pool stages after sweeping their opponents but luck was not on their side this time around as they both failed to replicate their Day 1 success.
Pasig was the first team to see their run cut short, falling to Riga of Latvia, 21-15 in their quarter-final match-up.
After the game was tied 13-all, Riga went on a key 4-0 run which made it 17-13. Penalty situation compounded the woes of the trailing Pasig side, as their Latvian competitors put on the finishing touches in the game.
Joshua Munzon, Taylor Statham, and import Angelo Tsagarakis all scored five apiece for Pasig in the loss.
Later on, Balanga was eliminated by Liman, 21-9 to close the door for the Philippines.
Balanga was never able to find their groove in their quarter-finals affair, falling to a deep hole early against the sharper Liman crew. The latter ended the game quickly, with 3:07 remaining in game time to advance.
It was an unfortunate end to what was a solid start as both Pasig and Balanga wounded up with 2-0 win-loss records in the elimination phase.
Ironically, Pasig defeated Liman yesterday while Balanga shocked Riga as well before the teams switched opponents for the knock-out stages.
Manila North was the last Philippine representative to make the championship of a World Tour Masters back in 2015 and was the last to gain a ticket to the World Tour Final.