Playing with just three healthy bodies, Alvin Pasaol and Balanga Chooks still willed their way to the top seed of Pool C in the 2019 FIBA 3X3 World Tour Masters, outlasting world no. 15 Moscow Inanomo in overtime, 20-19, Thursday evening.
With Yura Bespalov putting Moscow to just a point away from sealing the game, Pasaol put the game into his hands, knocking down a corner deuce to punch Balanga’s ticket to the knockout playoffs on Friday, April 19.
Pasaol, the no. 4 player in the Philippines, finished with nine points.
Balanga played with a man down as Leonard Santillan injured his right ankle in their 19-17 win over Riga Ghetto earlier in the day. Just two minutes and 15 seconds into the game, Santillan figured in a collision with Artūrs Strēlnieks that caused the injury.
Still, Balanga fought on.
Travis Franklin, who scored 14 points in their first game, kept Balanga in step with Moscow.
Semen Debda sparked Moscow with a thunderous jam before giving the Russians an 11-8 lead.
Franklin and Pasaol went toe-to-toe with the Russian quartet as the game was tied at 18-all with just a few seconds left.
Karl Dehesa could have sealed the win but his free throws late in regulation missed. Franklin missed a long jumper as time expired to send the game into extra time.
Franklin added 10 points.
Debda led Moscow with eight points.
In two games, Balanga has only allowed their opponents to knock down a total of two deuces.
Balanga Chooks 20 — Franklin 10, Pasaol 9, Dehesa 0.
Moscow Inanomo 19 — Debda 8, Bergman 5, Bespalov 4, Makshev 2