The country’s top FIBA 3×3-rated team Cebu Chooks and upstart Manila Chooks picked up contrasting wins to open their respective campaigns in the 2022 Ulaanbaatar Super Quest.
In the opener of Pool B, Dennis Santos scored the winner. He lifted Manila Chooks to a 21-20 (9:32.9) win over Zaisan MMC Energy, Friday at UB Palace in Mongolia.
Down 17-20 with 1:24 remaining, new boy Ron Dennison was fouled while attempting a deuce. He canned both of his freebies to cut the lead down to 1.
Wily vet Chico Lanete then scored on a layup on the other end to tie things up. After a defensive stop, Santos drove from the baseline, scoring on a tough lay-in for the winner with 27.1 ticks remaining.
Santos ended up with five points, while Lanete added six.
Henry Iloka twisted his right ankle with 4:08 left in the game but eventually returned a minute later. He got six points and 10 rebounds.
Mongolia’s no. 3 player Gan-Erdene Gantsolmon paced Amgalan with 10 points built on five deuces.
Cebu Chooks, meanwhile, stamped its class on Amgalan MMC Energy with a 21-10 (9:48.4) victory for a share of early leadership in Pool A.
Mac Tallo put Cebu in a comfortable position early, powering the squad to a 12-2 start and never looking back.
The bloodbath ended with a Brandon Ramirez deuce with 21.6 seconds to spare.
Tallo ended up with 10 points and four rebounds, while Zach Huang chipped in five points. Nzeusseu and Ramirez both had three markers each as well.
Bilguun Gansukh paced Amgalan with six points.
Earlier, Mongolia’s top team Ulaanbaatar laid waste to Yokohama with a 22-11 win in Pool A.
Manila will still face Zavkhan and Sansar later in the day, while Cebu still has Yokohama and Ulaanbaatar.
The top three teams in each pool will advance to the knockout playoffs with the top seed gaining an automatic semis berth.
Manila 21 – Iloka 6, Lanete 6, Santos 5, Dennison 4.
Zaisan 20 – Gantsolmon 10, Nyamdorj 5, Chuluunbaatar 3, Batsaikhan 2.
Time: Santos (9:32.9)
Cebu 21 – Tallo 10, Huang 5, Ramirez 3, Nzeusseu 3.
Amgalan 10 – Gansukh 6, Khureltogoo 3, Azzaya 1, Ganbat 0.
Time: Ramirez 2 (9:48.4)