BOCAUE – Christian Standhardinger was very vocal with his displeasure about the fact that Gilas narrowly missed the cut on a quarterfinals seat in the FIBA 3×3 World Cup.
The team’s 19-20 loss against Canada proved to be the nail in the coffin for their hopes of advancing after an earlier 17-21 defeat versus Mongolia put their chances in peril.
For the big man, he thought those two games were winnable and that they were better than what the results suggested.
“For me, it’s bitter. I’m happy that we won two games, but we should’ve won against Canada and we should’ve won against Mongolia for sure. I honestly felt that we were better, and it’s just the lack of experience that happened,” he said.
But even with these close calls, it was still a relatively successful run for the men’s team.
They opened their campaign with a resounding 15-7 victory over world #6 Brazil, then they wrapped things up by burying Russia with a 19-11 finish.
These victories were huge for a Philippine team that was seeded 19th in the tournament and 60th in the world.
“As frustrating the loss against Canada and Mongolia were, let’s put this in perspective. We beat the [sixth]-ranked team in the world with Brazil, and we beat the third-ranked team in the world with Russia. And this is the first tournament,” Standhardinger noted.
The Fil-German sees their showing in the World Cup as a prospective building block that they can start on and bared his optimism for future 3×3 editions.
“It’s so obvious how much promise there is. Practicing 11 times, being completely unexperienced, beating the fifth-ranked team in the world, beating the third-ranked team in the world… I’m just excited and pumped for the future to be honest with you, as frustrating it is for us to lose those two games and not be able to show those Filipino fans four victories in a row.
(photo from FIBA)