3x3WC: Pontejos makes a name for herself after masterful World Cup stint
Paul Lintag on Jun 10, 2018 09:18 PM
After three crucial misses against Germany, Janine Pontejos vowed to bounce back. After two sleepless nights, the 5'5" shooter delivered a last stand to remember for Perlas Pilipinas in the 2018 FIBA 3x3 World Cup.
BOCAUE, Bulacan --- Friday after a devastating loss to Germany in the 2018 FIBA 3x3 World Cup, Perlas Pilipinas shooter Janine Pontejos vowed a major comeback.
Pontejos, who earlier had a rousing debut in the loss against the Netherlands, missed three crucial attempts from deep that could have sent the game vs. the Germans into overtime.
On Sunday, despite taking two more close calls, Pontejos made good of her promise to bounce back.
The 5'5" guard lit up the scoreboard against Spain and Hungary, leading the Perlas offense as she caught fire from deep.
In the 17-21 loss to the Spaniards, who eventually took first place in Pool D, Pontejos scored five two-pointers on her way to a game-high 13 points.
She scored another seven vs. Hungary, giving the Philippines cushion before ultimately taking a heartbreakin 15-18 defeat.
In a quick chat with ABS-CBN Sports after their World Cup stint, Pontejos revealed that she hardly had any sleep following the late misses to Germany two days prior.
"Hindi ako nakatulog nung natalo kami [vs. Germany]," she said.
"Hanggang kagabi, hindi talaga ako nakatulog. Iniisip ko kung ano yung gagawin ko para makabawi ako sa talo namin. Although talo kami [vs. Spain and Hungary], ginawa namin yung best namin," Pontejos added.
With her offensive explosion, Pontejos quickly became a fan favorite.
Despite being one of the smaller players in the tournament, the 25-year-old says the crowd's support fueled her big fight.
"Sobrang laking tulong sakin nung crowd, malakas yung loob ko," she said.
"Sa kanila ko nakukuha yung lakas ng loob ko kahit maliit ako, kaya ko to. Yun yung iniisip ko. Para sa bayan, para sa mga nanonood samin. Yun yung mindset ko," Pontejos added.
While Perlas ultimately went winless in the World Cup, Pontejos sure made a name for herself with her tremendous play.
As of June 10, with half of the women's games done, Pontejos is tied with three other players for third overall in the scoring list.
Janine scored 27 points in four games, 20 of them came Sunday in her last stand.
Regardless where she ends up in the final tally though, Janine is beyond thankful already.
"God's will na lang kung makakapasok ako dun. Kung anong bibigay ni God magpapasalamat ako," Pontejos said.
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