Despite the herculean effort of import Marcus Hammonds, the numbers game simply caught up with Isabela City Chooks.
A winded three-man Isabela Chooks squad could not keep pace with a fresh Moscow Inanomo team, falling 22-14 (:06), to close out their campaign in the 2019 Hongxiang Holdings Haining, Saturday afternoon.
Despite not being able to make it out of Pool C, Isabela Chooks still impressed in its Challenger debut.
Playing just three men as Franky Johnson’s visa did not make it on time while Troy Rike could not suit up with Isabela City due to him playing for Pasig before, Isabela swept the qualifying draw, beating Mongolian teams Sukhbaatar (21-12) and Taikhar (18-15).
Their Russian opponents in the main draw though proved to be too much. It did not help that Roosevelt Adams was favoring his right hamstring the entire game.
Though Isabela City fell behind 5-0 early and as much as six points midway through the contest, Hammonds battled on, eventually slicing the lead down to just three points with under three minutes left.
Hammonds finished with 10 points on 7-of-17 shooting from the field.
The tired legs of Isabela City though could not contain Alexandr Pavlov’s power and Semen Debda’s outside shooting. A Debda deuce sent the game to match point with 1:25 left while Pavlov’s wide-open deuce from the top of the arc ended Isabela City’s Cinderella run.
Debda had eight points while Pavlov added six markers. Yura Bespalov had seven points, built on two deuces.
Isabela City 14 — Hammonds 10, Banal 4, Adams 0.
Moscow 22 — Debda 8, Bespalov 7, Pavlov 6, Bulanovas 1.