The three-man Isabela City Chooks were overwhelmed by world no. 8 Gagarin, 13-21 (:05), to open their pool stage campaign in the 2019 Hongxiang Holdings Haining, Saturday afternoon.
Playing in their third game in six hours, Isabela fell behind by as much as seven points late in the contest, 19-12.
Though Gab Banal kept fighting on, Dmitry Korshakov sent the Russians to match point with 57 ticks left before Dmitrii Cheburkin closed things out with a fadeaway jumper over Banal 52 seconds later.
Isabela City had to go through Mongolian clubs Sukhbaatar and Taikhar to reach the main draw. They now have to defeat Moscow Inanomo at 5:05 pm to keep their playoff hopes up. An Isabela win and a Moscow loss to Gagarin at 6:50 pm will punch their ticket to the next round on Sunday.
Roosevelt Adams paced Isabela City with seven points. He proved instrumental in Isabela’s rally from 10-4 down, cutting the lead to just one with 3:38 left.
Stanislav Sharov was simply too overwhelming for Isabela, however. He powered Gagarin’s counter-rally while anchoring his team’s defense on the other end.
Sharov had a game-high nine points, built on three deuces.
Gab Banal and Marcus Hammonds were limited to just four and two points, respectively.
Isabela City 13 — Adams 7, Banal 4, Hammonds 2.
Gagarin 21 — Sharov 9, Abramovskii 6, Korshakov 4, Cheburkin 2.