PH cagers stay alive

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The Philippines vented their ire on Turkmenistan as it posted a 21-8 domination to keep its playoff hopes alive in the FIBA 3×3 U23 World Cup Friday night in Xi’an, China.

After suffering a pair of setbacks to Slovenia and Serbia, the Filipinos made sure to barge into the win column this time as they hardly encountered any challenge from the stunned Turkmen.

From a 4-5 deficit early on, the Philippines launched a 9-0 run capped by RJ Abarrientos’ two free throws off an unsportsmanlike foul form Turkmenistan to take a commanding 13-5 lead.
It was all Philippines from there as Abarrientos continued his outburst with a booming triple in the last two minutes for a comfortable 17-7 lead.

Ricci Rivero iced the game with a pair of charities, 21-8, with still 51.3 seconds to go in the race-to-21 match.

With this, the Nationals improved to 1-2 to give themselves a fighting chance to advance in the knockout quarterfinals depending on the outcome of their must-win battle against China in the nightcap at 8:40 pm.

Should the Filipinos manage to escape with a win, they have to hope for Serbia and Slovenia to drop their respective games and forge a multiple-team tie at 2-2 record.

Only the top two from each group will be given tickets to the next round and as of writing time, China is on top of Pool C with 2-0 record followed by Serbia (1-1), Slovenia (1-1), Philippines (1-2) and Turkmenistan (1-2).

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