PH 3×3, U-16 dribblers stay spotless in two tilts
TWO PHILIPPINE youth teams got off to impressive starts in separate international campaigns on Thursday night.
The under-18 squad, led by UAAP juniors MVP Thirdy Ravena, strung up three straight victories on Day 1 of the Fiba 3×3 U18 World Championship in Jakarta to join early leaders United States, Argentina, Germany, and Poland.
Over in Tehran, Iran, the under-16 team also kicked off its bid with a thrilling 90-88 escape versus Kazakhstan in the Fiba Asia U16 Championship.
Ravena, along with Arvin Tolentino, Prince Rivero and Kobe Paras, turned back Chinese Taipei (13-5), Guatemala (18-9), and Andorra (15-11) to stay unbeaten in Pool B of the 32-nation event.
Mentored by John Flores, the Philippines crashed into the lofty Worlds stage after the same quartet captured the Fiba Asia U18 3×3 crown in Bangkok last May.
The U-16 squad, meanwhile, leaned on Paul Desiderio and Richard Escoto in the final stretch to overcome the 28-point effort of Kazakh Leonid Voronushkin.
The young Nationals held the taller Kazakhs to a single field goal in the last three minutes.
Michael dela Cruz topscored with 19 with Desiderio adding 16, Jose Lorenzo Mendoza 13 and Escoto contributing 10 points and 19 rebounds.
The Philippine five is coached by Jamike Jarin. Jasmine W. Payo
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