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PH pips Romania, but loses to France

Team Pilipinas made a good impression in the 2017 FIBA 3X3 World Cup after splitting its first two assignments early Monday (Manila time) in Nantes, France.

Powered by amateur stalwarts Kiefer Ravena, Jeron Teng and Kobe Paras, the national team won its debut game against the seventh seeded Romania with an impressive 21-15 victory.

Down 12-13, Paras, son of former PBA rookie-MVP Benjie Paras, ignited the comeback with a layup before Ravena completed an and-one play and added a two-pointer (a shot from the arc) for a 17-13 lead with 1:19 left.

A two-point basket by Romania trimmed the Chooks To Go-backed Philippine Team to 17-15.

But the 19-year-old Paras, who is committed to play for Cal State Northridge in the US NCAA, connected a two-point shot and forced a steal that led to two free throws to make it 21-15 with 30 seconds left.

The 18th-seeded national team, however, failed to make it back-to-back wins as it lost to host France, 22-11.

The Filipinos will next face second-seeded Slovenia and 15th seeded El Salvador in Group B today.

Only the top two teams from the group will advance in the quarterfinal round.

The national team, which also has NLEX’s JR Quiñahan, is hoping to make it to the next stage of the tournament after missing the quarterfinals during last year’s 3X3 World Cup held in Guangzhou, China.