By Michael Angelo S. Murillo
THE PHILIPPINE 3×3 basketball teams in the ongoing 30th Southeast Asian Games stayed perfect on opening day of the tournament on Sunday at FilOil Flying V Arena in San Juan City.
The men’s team, composed of players from the Philippine Basketball Association, and the women’s squad swept all their matches yesterday to pad their respective causes in the tournament, which is making its SEA Games debut this year.
The men’s team of CJ Perez, Jason Perkins, Mo Tautuaa and Chris Newsome opened its campaign with a 21-17 win over Indonesia, following it up with a 21-10 pounding of Myanmar, and a 21-15 victory over Vietnam.
It played Thailand in its final game of the day, winning, 21-10.
Mr. Perkins topscored for the Philippines against the Thais with seven points.
Mr. Tautuaa had six points while Messrs. Perez and Newsome had five and three points, respectively, In a game that had them trailing early but just was unstoppable once they got their collective groove going.
Meanwhile on the distaff side of the tournament, the Philippines was steady in beating Myanmar, 21-4, Malaysia, 15-13, and Indonesia, 16-13, in that order.
Against Indonesia, the Philippines got off to a hot start led by Jack Animam and Afril Bernardino.
The Indonesians though would make a charge back as they waxed hot from the outside.
The count stood at 11-9 with three minutes to play but Ms. Bernardino would drain key baskets in the wind-up to preserve the win.
“It was good day for us but tomorrow is another day. Hopefully what we did here we can carry it over in our next matches,” said Ms. Animam after their sweep of Day One.
Also part of the women’s team are Janine Pontejos and Clare Castro.
The Philippine men’s team battles Malaysia and Cambodia today where it hopes to continue to roll and book a spot in the championship rounds.
The women’s team, meanwhile, will play Vietnam and Thailand.