Local team Pasig Chooks and Australia’s Melbourne iAthletic move on to the main draw of the 2019 Chooks-to-Go Manila Challenger, Saturday at the SM Fairview Events Center.
Pasig, the 28th-ranked team in the world, advances to Pool D where they will take on Slovenia’s Kranj (6:10 pm) and Mongolia’s Ulaanbataar MMC Energy (4:35 pm) later in the day. On the other hand, Melbourne will take on Russia’s Gagarin (5:50 pm) and Serbia’s Belgrade NetTV (4:15 pm) in Pool C.
Pasig though needed to lean on the heroics of Nikola Pavlovic against Isabela City Chooks to get to the next stage of this level-nine FIBA 3×3 tournament that is serving as a qualifier to the Jeddah Masters.
“It’s tough but this is what we live for,” said Pavlovic.
Down 19-20 with 12.2 ticks left, Joshua Munzon was able to rebound a Pavlovic miss from range. After attracting the defense, Munzon threw a pass to the wide-open Serbian, who calmly knocked down a one-legged, fadeaway deuce for the 21-20 (9:48) win.
In its first game, Pasig cruised past the Zamboanga Valientes MLB, 21-9 (7:10)
On the other hand, Melbourne dominated Qualifying Draw A, taking down Jakarta South, 21-2 (5:44), before pouncing on the Marcus Douthit-led Narvacan City, 22-13 (7:06).
The main draw begins at 2:00 pm. The remaining 12 teams will be split into pools of four with the top two teams in each group advancing to the knockout playoffs on Sunday.
The remaining two Philippine-based club teams are Pasig and Balanga Chooks, who are slotted in Pool A together with Czech Republic’s Humpolec Bernard (3:35 pm) and world no. 2 Riga Ghetto of Latvia (5:10 pm).