Quezon City’s Wilcon became the first Filipino team to qualify for the 2023 Chooks-to-Go FIBA 3×3 Cebu Masters after a dominant run in the Chooks-to-Go Pilipinas 3×3 Quest 3.0 on Saturday at Ayala Malls Solenad in Sta. Rosa, Laguna.
The Cebu Masters will take place from September 23 to 24.
Spanish sharpshooter Jose Blasquez was the difference-maker for the squad, lighting up the championship game and securing a 19-15 victory over Pasig Banh Mi Kitchen.
He scored nine points to carry the scoring load for Wilcon Depot, with additional contributions of seven points from TH Tumalip and three from Yutien Andrada.
“We were fortunate when we invited him; he was available and willing to come here,” said coach Anton Altamirano about Blasquez.
Keith Datu also made significant contributions for Wilcon Depot as they completed a perfect five-game run in this quest, earning them qualification for the FIBA 3×3 World Tour Cebu Masters in September.
The Quezon City-based crew took home P100,000 for reigning supreme in this competition.
Wilcon Depot topped Pool A with a 3-0 record and eliminated Makati MNL Kingpin with a thrilling 22-20 victory in the semifinals.
“Honestly, we didn’t expect anything. We just wanted to give our best in this kind of competition, and then let God take care of the results,” said Altamirano. “We’re really blessed that we had good results in this tournament.”
Louie Vigil, who was part of the Wilcon Depot squad in the PBA 3×3, led the fight for Banh Mi Kitchen with four points in the runner-up finish.
In the other semifinals bracket, Pasig Banh Mi eliminated Manila Chooks! with a 21-14 victory, led by Vigil’s 13 points.
Also in Quebec last weekend, Pasig TNT went 1-1 in the group phase and couldn’t advance to the next round due to points.
TNT began their campaign with a shocking 21-20 come-from-behind victory over Riga but fell to Wuxi, 21-17, for an even record.
Riga then defeated Wuxi 21-20, creating a three-way tie in Pool C.
Both Wuxi and Riga tallied 21 points, three points ahead of TNT’s total, which allowed them to advance to the next round.
Still, it was a memorable outing for the reigning PBA 3×3 champions.
Down 17-20 against Riga, Gryann Mendoza hit back-to-back deuces to stun the Latvians.
Advancing to the Main Draw of Cebu, thanks to the Canada tournament, are Amsterdam and Paris. San Juan is in the qualifying draw of the tournament.