SANTA ROSA – Manila Chooks! will have itself a big responsibility after being the lone Philippine team to reach the 2022 Chooks-to-Go Pilipinas 3×3 International Quest semifinals Friday at the Ayala Malls Solenad here.
The quartet of Chico Lanete, Henry Iloka, Dennis Santos, and Dave Ando were the only squad to make it to the penultimate stage as both Cebu Chooks! and Butuan Chooks! bowed out following stinging losses in the group stage.
Both slotted in Pool B, Butuan lost all three of its assignments while Cebu could not protect the lead it built early and ultimately yielded to Zaisan MMC Energy through a 21-17 (9:50.9) result in the final game of the preliminary round.
It was a heartbreaker for Cebu who led early but saw their lead deminish to one, 16-17, with a minute left. An and-two by Altangerel Batsaikhan gave Zaisan the lead for good.
Free throws by Ikhbayar Chuluunbaatar sealed the game.
Myagmarsuren Natsagdulam led Zaisan with nine points.
Brandon Ramirez produced eight points for Cebu.
One of the three Mongolian teams competing in the one-day meet, Zaisan clinched the second seed in the group and will take on Manila in the semis.
Manila was the first to reach the Final Four after clinching the top spot of Pool A with a 2-1 card They beat Kuala Lumpur Aseel (21-15) then Ulaanbaatar MMC Energy (21-20) before losing to Zavkhan MMC Energy, 19-17.
Being the second seed in the group, Ulaanbaatar will take on the best team in the other pool in Saitama, who swept its way to the semis.
The Alphas of Japan took down Cebu first, and then sustained momentum en route to beating Zaisan (20-11) and Butuan (22-11).
The top two finalists of the Level 8 FIBA 3×3 Tournament will earn the coveted tickets to the Chooks-to-Go FIBA 3×3 World Tour Cebu Masters on October 1-2, with the champion taking home USD 10,000.
Ninth Game (Pool A)
Zavkhan 19 – Bayarsaikhan 7, Khureltogoo 6, Lhagvaa 5, Tsermaa 1.
Manila 17 – Iloka 12, Lanete 4, Santos 1, Ando 0.
Tenth Game (Pool B)
Saitama 22 – Milakovic 9, Atanasov 5, Ochiai 5, Ozawa 3,
Butuan 11 – Catacutan 7, Cauilan 4, Eze 0, Strait 0.
Time: Marko Milakovic – 2 (7:45)
Eleventh Game (Pool A)
Ulaanbaatar 22 – Enkhbat 10 , Gotov 7, Davaasambuu 3, Tsogt 2.
Kuala Lumpur 11 – Ting 3, Zhen 3, Gan 3, Liew 2.
Time: Dulguun Enkhbat – 2 (7:10)
Zaisan 21 – Myagmarsuren 9, Batsaikhan 5, Nyamdorj 4, Chuluunbaatar 3.
Cebu 17 – Ramirez 8, Tallo 4, Tolentino 3, Nzeusseu 2.
Time: Ikhbayar Chuluunbaatar – free throw (9:50.9)