Paras, Ravena anchor romp vs Romanians
MANILA, Philippines – The Philippines pulled the rug from under seventh seed Romania, 21-15, but fell to host France, 11-22, yesterday to remain in the quarterfinal race in the FIBA 3x3 World Cup in Nantes, France.
Kiefer Ravena combined with Kobe Paras late in the match as the Filipinos fought back from 12-13 deficit to stun the Romanians and snare a six-point victory. But the Filipinos failed to neutralize their sweet-shooting French rivals and bowed in the next game.
The Phl, meanwhile, takes on second seed Slovenia and El Salvador tomorrow, needing a pair of victories to advance to the next round.
France waylaid El Salvador, 21-5, while Slovenia trounced El Salvador, 21-16, then routed Romania, 21-12, as they remained unbeaten in Group B.
Paras sized up the tall Romanians in the early going then took over in the clutch, scoring off two defenders on a spectacular behind-the-back move that wowed the crowd and tied the count at 13.
Ravena then scored on a three-point play and buried an open jumper as the Philippines turned a one-point deficit into a 17-13 lead.
After the Romanians scored in the next play, Paras came up with another tough drive and made a steal, which he parlayed into a pair of free throws that sealed their come-from-behind win.
Paras, the youngest in the tournament at 19, finished with 12 points and though he struggled for just three markers against France, the incoming Cal State Matador still earned the Player of the Day honors.
Other members of Team Phl are Jeron Teng and JR Quiñahan.