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Enjoying 3×3, Balanga import Travis Franklin vows to return

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It’s hard to believe that Travis Franklin has only played 3×3 basketball for just two weeks.

“I’m more on five-on-five. But, at the end of the day, it’s still basketball,” the 6-foot-6 import of Balanga Chooks said before the team left for the 2019 FIBA 3X3 World Tour Masters in Doha, Qatar.

Helping him adjust to the 3×3 game are Pasig reinforcements Nikola Pavlovic and Angelo Tsagarakis, both of whom are Challenger and World Tour veterans.

“I’m learning. My teammates have been learning together with me and it’s great to have Nikola and Angelo who have been teaching us the ropes,” he continued.

During the Doha Masters, the 30-year-old cager out of Baton Rouge, Louisiana put up monster numbers.

In pool play, he tallied 24 points in two games to lift Balanga to upset wins over eventual-champions Riga Ghetto (19-17) and world no. 15 Moscow Inanomo (20-19, OT).

“Yeah, it’s fun. Very fun! But it’s physical! It’s like basketball mixed with football,” quipped Franklin, who ended up with a tournament-high 9.33-point average.

But the team’s inexperience showed during the next stage of the global meet.

If their game against Moscow was the longest of the tournament at 12 minutes and 20 seconds, their quarterfinals loss to world no. 1 Liman was the fastest at six minutes and 53 seconds.

Entering the quarterfinals, Franklin, a former G-League player, admitted that the grind of 3×3 affected them.

“We fought through fatigue and injuries. Santi [Santillan] was really hurt, Alvin [Pasaol] hurt his hand early in the game, while Karl [Dehesa]’s shoulder was bothering him,” Franklin disclosed.

“We showed a lot of puso. But we know that we can beat these teams.”

Believing that the Philippines can be a force in the 3×3 scene, Franklin vowed that he will return.

“Most definitely, I’ll be back.

“We definitely leave here with a lot of confidence, knowing that we can beat the top teams in the world,” he closed.

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