SANTA ROSA — Cebu Chooks! needed a bit of luck to pass the test handed by Botolan Hayati, 21-18, to banner the semifinal cast of the 2022 Chooks-to-Go Pilipinas 3×3 Quest 2.0, Sunday night at the Ayala Malls Solenad here.
Mike Harry Nzeusseu finished the match with a one-handed slam with 1:27 left to play as the country’s top 3×3 team managed to escape the tough challenge from the squad spearheaded by Gerald Anderson.
The celebrity cager proved that he can compete in the halfcourt game by turning in his best performance with seven markers, but his side just couldn’t find that finishing kick that could’ve led to the biggest upset of the tourney.
Marcus Hammonds top-scored with nine points, Mac Tallo made five points, Nzesseu had four, while Brandon Ramirez chipped in four markers for the 3-0 Cebu, who is set to face Talisay EGS in the semis.
The all-South affair happened after Talisay finished as the second-best team of Pool B after showing Quezon City Ericcson the exit doors, 17-12.
Jerome Napao and Dyll Roncao finished with five points each. Paul Desiderio had four, while Steve Akomo added three for the Cebuano ball club, who ended the group stage at 2-1, with their lone loss coming from Manila Chooks!.
Manila, like Cebu, finished Pool B with a clean 3-0 record after a masterful 21-10 showing against the also-ran GenSan in the last game of pool play.
Henry Iloka won it from the stripe with less than a minute left and finished with a game-high nine points. Dennis Santos had eight while Dave Ando and fan favorite Leon Lorenzana combined for four points.
The country’s second-ranked 3×3 team will take on Pool A’s 2-seed in Butuan Chooks! as the trio ensured that all Chooks teams are in the running for the last ticket to the FIBA 3×3 World Tour Hong Kong Masters next weekend.
Butuan punched its ticket to the semis by sending Makati MNL Kingpin home winless in three games through a 16-11 result.
Pool A Game 5
Butuan 16 – Arafat 5, Cauilan 5, Octobre 4. Strait 2.
Makati 11 – Diokno 7, Sario 2, Pableo 1, Morales 1.
Pool B Game 5
Talisay 17 – Napao 5, Roncal 5, Desiderio 4, Akomo 3.
Quezon City 12 – Laminou 6, Fuentes 5, Delfinado 1, Rosales 0.
Pool A Game 6
Cebu 21 – Hammonds 9, Tallo 5, Nzeusseu 4, Ramirez 3.
Botolan 18 – Anderson 7, Gozum 5, Ndong 4, Kapunan 2.
Time: 8:33 (Nzeusseu – dunk)
Pool B Game 6
Manila 21 – Iloka 9, Santos 8, Ando 3, Lorenzana 1.
Gen San 10 – Talan 5, Catipay 3, Deles 1, Mendoza 1.
Time: 9:04.1 (Iloka – FT)