3x3WC: Janine overcomes PH Arena AC to earn our first FIBA 3x3 medal
Paul Lintag on Jun 12, 2018 03:39 PM
"Umpisa pa lang sobrang nilalamig na yung kamay ko, ang hirap po kasi sobrang lakas ng air con. Eh ang nipis ko po kaya kailangan pagpawisan ako. Nung maglalaro na ako sobrang lamig pa rin ako, kinamayan nila ako sobrang lamig pa rin ng kamay ko. Tapos inimagine ko na lang na nagdi-drills kami, buti na lang lumabas yung shooting ko," --- Janine Pontejos.
BOCAUE, Bulacan --- Even the Philippine Arena's air conditioning system failed to cool off Janine Pontejos' hot hands.
On a gloomy Tuesday afternoon in the final day of the 2018 FIBA 3x3 World Cup, Janine Pontejos finally got a win for Perlas Pilipinas as she emerged as the tournament's top shooter, beating Russia's Alexandra Stolyar in an epic shootout final.
Both snipers finished with 14 points, just one shy of the all-time record, but Pontejos ultimately got the gold after she scored 14 in 41.86 seconds, roughly eight seconds faster that Stolyar.
"Sobra po akong kinakabahan," Pontejos said after her breakthrough win.
"Umpisa pa lang sobrang nilalamig na yung kamay ko, ang hirap po kasi sobrang lakas ng air con. Eh ang nipis ko po kaya kailangan pagpawisan ako. Nung maglalaro na ako sobrang lamig pa rin ako, kinamayan nila ako sobrang lamig pa rin ng kamay ko. Tapos inimagine ko na lang na nagdi-drills kami, buti na lang lumabas yung shooting ko," she added.
Despite dealing with cold hands, Pontejos was on fire once it was her turn to shoot.
Janine had a perfect second rack and at one point made eight straight shots. She also made two out of three money balls.
Despite her tremendous performance though, Stolyar came right after and matched her output, making Janin a nervous wreck as officials tallied their respective times.
"Sobrang kinabahan po ako, nag-pray na lang ako kay God kung ano kalabasan," she said.
"Proud pa rin ako kahit second or third man lang. Basta makapasok ako sa Finals," Pontejos added.
After Perlas went 0-4 in pool play, the odds were stacked against Janine in the shootout final, competing with players from Russia and Croatia.
That didn't matter though and Janine eventually earned the country's first medal in senior 3x3 competition.
"Di ko po inisip na ako yung best, nakikipag-compete lang po ako sa kanila, pare-pareho lang kaming player," Pontejos said.
"Yung bansa po yung nire-represent kaya kailangan hindi ka matakot sa kanila," she added.
Follow this writer on Twitter, @paullintag8