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3x3 Basketball

FIBA 3×3: Latest chapter to budding Ub-Miami rivalry headline WT Cebu semis


CEBU CITY – Ub Huishan NE booked the first ticket to the Chooks-to-Go FIBA 3×3 World Tour Cebu Masters 2023 semifinals following a 21-14 comeback win over Manila Chooks! Sunday at the SM Seaside City here.

Strahinja Stojacic finished with 11 points, while the decorated Dejan Majstorovic delivered six points as the two pulled their side out of troubled waters after seeing themselves trailing early to the home team.

Coming off narrow victories against Wuxi and Sansar MMC Energy in the pool stage in Day 1, the world no. 1 team was once again in a precarious situation when it trailed by three with 7:16 remaining in the game.

But the two stars connived for seven consecutive points, capped by a Stojacic two-pointer, to give their crew an 11-7 lead with 5:07 to go.

Chooks-to-Go’s flagship team would never recover as the Serbians were in control the rest of the way, with Marko Brankovic sealing the deal following a two-point play conversion still with 1:21 to spare.

Marcus Hammonds and and Marquez Letcher-Ellis scored five points apiece for Manila, who could not follow up its dramatic win over Futian in Day 1 that snapped the team’s months-long skid in the World Tour Masters.

Ub will be facing Miami in the semis later in the day, which should be another chapter to a brewing rivalry between USA and Serbia in 3×3.

The American side forged the awaited showdown following a 21-17 conquest of San Juan in the second quarters duel of the knockout stages.

Canyon Barry top-scored with nine points as he led the pull-away midway into the match to eventually leave their upset-hungry foes behind.

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The one-time FIBA 3×3 World Cup gold medalist scored three in a mini 4-0 run towards a 12-8 lead with under four minutes to go.

Jimmer Fredette and Kareem Maddox would then help him out afterwards to make sure they remain ahead, and the former went on to finish it off still with 29 seconds left to play to set up another rematch with Ub.

Since USA’s crushing loss to Serbia in the FIBA 3×3 World Cup Final last July, the squad has earned some sort of vengeance in the Pro Circuit.

Miami has beaten Ub twice already, first in the Bordeaux Challenger semis (21-19) last July and in the Lausanne Masters quarters (21-17) the following month.

Now, it would be interesting to see if Miami, a team that’s still searching for its breakthrough title, would be able to extend its mastery over a side keen on capturing its seventh WT leg crown this season.

The other semis bracket, meanwhile, will feature an all-European affair as Amsterdam HiPRO and Vienna are set to duke it out.

Amsterdam once again rode Worthy De Jong’s 10 points to take down Ulaanbaatar MMC Energy by way of a 21-17 decision.

Vienna then completed the semis picture as they overcame Stefan Stojacic and Wuxi, 21-17, big thanks to another balanced attack.

Stojacic in his element with 11 points but the Austrian side showed that it’s a team game at the end of the day. Quincy Diggs had six points, while the trio of Matthias Linortner, Enis Murati, and Nico Kaltenbrunner had five each.

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The scores:
QF1
Ub Huishan NE (21) – Stojacic 11, Majstorovic 6, Brankovic 3, Dordevic 1.

Manila Chooks (14) – Hammonds 5, Letcher-Ellis 5, Tallo 2, Sesay 2.

QF2
Miami (21) – Barry 9, Fredette 5, Maddox 4, Travis 3.

San Juan (17) – Ralat 7, Ocasio 5, Cuascut 5, Allende 0.

QF3
Amsterdam HiPRO (21) – De Jong 10, Norbert Thelissen 7, Jaring 2, Driessen 2.

Ulaanbaatar MMC Energy (15) – Sir 6, Enkhbat 4,Davaasambuu 4, Tsogt 1.

QF4
Vienna (21) – Diggs 6, Murati 5, Linortner 5, Kaltenbrunner 5.

Wuxi (15) – Stojacic 11, Mijovic 5, Li 1, Wang 0.

Written By

Oftentimes on the sidelines. Forever a student of the game. Morayta-bred.


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