RJ Abarrientos stepped up in the absence of Ricci Rivero as Gilas Pilipinas swept its Day 2 campaign in the qualifying round of the FIBA 3×3 Asia Cup in Changsha on Thursday.
Having to play without a sub as Rivero took the day off following an ankle injury he got in Day 1 (Wednesday), Abarrientos went off with a bang.
Playing through his own injured ankle late into Gilas’ game against Iran, Abarrientos sizzled from long range, going 4-for-5 from 22 feet out in the dying moments as Gilas took a 21-19 win against Iran.
Abarrientos carried the fight for Gilas in that game with 18 points, nearly matching Iran’s total output.
Now with his ankle feeling better due to the rest, Abarrientos came up with another 14-point outing as Gilas defeated Samoa, 22-15.
Despite the back-to-back wins, Gilas, which went 0-2 on Wednesday, misses out on making the main tournament as Qatar won the Qualifying Pool A after sweeping all of its four games.
Meanwhile, the Gilas Women, already assured of a spot in the women’s main tournament, looks to sweep its own qualifying pool assignments with a win against Vanuatu later Thursday. (PNA)