Kobe Paras and Kiefer Ravena had some memorable moments as Team Philippines split their first two assignments in Pool B of the 2017 FIBA 3×3 World Cup on Sunday (early Monday morning in the Philippines) in Nantes, France.
The Philippines defeated Romania, 21-15, in their first game before dropping their contest to France, 22-11, in the final game of the day.
Paras scored 12 points in their triumphant opener while Ravena added five. Ravena then took the lead in the second game, tallying six points while Paras struggled for just three.
Jeron Teng tallied a total of four points over the two games while JR Quinahan had two points.
Paras’ 15 points was tied for the third-highest of the day. Ukraine’s Stanislav Timofeyenko led all scorers with 17 points.
Paras was later named Player of the Day on the FIBA 3×3 Youtube page while the Philippines’ loss to France was Game of the Day.
Against Romania, Team Philippines shrugged off a slow start, going down 4-1 early in the contest.
But Paras showed some excellent play, knocking down from distance and showing terrific ball-handling skills, including a deadly behind-the-back dribble that allowed him to get to the basket at will.
One such instance gave Paras a layup that tied the game at 13-all before the Filipinos went on a big finishing kick.
Ravena gave the Philippines the lead with an and-one bank layup. He hit the free throw before drilling in a long bomb to make it four straight points for the former Ateneo Blue Eagle and a 17-13 lead.
Romania stopped the bleeding with a two-pointer right back.
But Paras sealed it as he knocked down a shot from beyond the arc, 19-15, stole the ball and drew a foul shooting another. He made the free throws to push the Philippines to the 21-point threshold that ended the game.
They were outclassed by the home team France in the second game, though.
Paras and Ravena made some baskets early but could not keep the team from falling behind by a whopping eight points, 14-6, to start the game.
Teng made some solid plays as the Philippine battled back to within six, 16-10, but France scored six of the last seven points, including a two-pointer that finished the game.