Kobe, 3x3 cagers out with 2-2 card | Inquirer Sports
In Huddle

Kobe, 3×3 cagers out with 2-2 card

/ 03:06 AM June 07, 2015

THE SUN had barely risen Saturday morning but my colleague’s temperature was already running high after watching the live streaming of the  2015 Fiba U18 3×3 World Championship all night.

The scribe was both angry and depressed. He had watched the Russians, whom he described as “monstrous,” practically maul the tiny Filipinos and booted their rivals out of contention with a 21-9 victory.

He said he also saw on video one of the Russians blatantly punch Ricci Rivero, but got away without a whistle from the referees.


Later, he learned that such an act did not warrant a foul in a 3×3 tournament.


* * *

“It was a case of David versus Goliath,” said my colleague, adding  that the Russians had bullied the Filipinos all throughout the game.

What compounded the scribe’s frustration was  the poor performance of team captain Kobe Paras, who was missing shots and losing the ball to the opponent.

In the first game against Poland, which the Filipinos lost, Kobe took responsibility and blamed himself for the loss. He vowed to “bounce  back” in the next game against host Hungary and true to his word, the Philippines won that game, at the same time establishing himself at that point as the tournament’s highest scorer with a total of 27 points.

Surely Kobe will again take the responsibility for the loss to the Russians, but my colleague said it was really next to impossible to  win against  them.

“They are just too big, too strong and scary,” he  said.


And this time, a commitment to bounce back would be futile since all is  lost at this point. Only the top two teams in every group will advance to the quarterfinals, and these are likely Russia and Poland.

We lost two games, won two,  the other one over Kazakhstan. Here’s hoping Kobe will be successful at defending  his  2013 slam dunk title.

* * *

WBO junior flyweight champion Donnie “Ahas” Nietes, usually humble and extremely low key, exuded a different aura during last Friday’s luncheon with the press where he expressed confidence of successfully defending his title against Mexican Francisco Rodriguez in their 12-round showdown  at the Waterfront Hotel Cebu City on July 4.

“’Pag tinamaan ko siya ng (when I hit him with my) right overhand and uppercut bibigay ’yun  (he’ll  buckle down),” Nietes told the sportswriters smiling.

Aside from defending his belt, Donnie also hopes to avenge the loss of friend and ALA stablemate Merlito Sabillo to the Mexican.

“Merlito lost by TKO to Rodriguez in Monterey, Mexico, last year in April,” the 33-year-old Nietes said, as he swore to keep the promise he made to Sabillo.

“It was his first loss ever. I made a commitment  to him that I  would not let this opportunity of getting even slip away.”

Nietes and Sabillo both hail from Bacolod,  Negros Occidental.

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Following his win over Sabillo, Rodriguez was able to unify the WBO and IBF 105-lbs titles with a  victory by unanimous decision over Katsunari Takayama.

TAGS: 3x3, Kobe

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