Philippine teams could not make it past the quarterfinals of the 2022 Chooks-to-Go FIBA 3×3 World Tour Manila Masters, Sunday at Ayala Malls Manila Bay.
Manila Chooks and Cebu Chooks bowed out of the playoffs’ opening round one after the other after suffering tough losses to more experienced units.
Manila ran out of gas and yielded a 16-21 (8:07) decision to Sansar MMC Energy, as Cebu got outclassed by world no. 3 Liman Huishan NE, 21-11 (7:06).
Of the two, Manila had the best chance of reaching the semifinals, but its failure to protect the lead proved costly. It actually led by four approaching the midway mark, but the Mongolian crew found the mark from the outside.
Anand Ariunbold nailed back-to-back two-pointers to power a 7-0 run, and the game turned around in their favor which led to the hosts’ demise.
Ariunbold finished with nine points. Enkhbaatar Onolbaatar had six points, as Gansukh Avarzed and Batzolboo Borgil combined for six as well.
Henry Iloka top-scored for Manila with seven points and seven rebounds. Chico Lanete made four, as Ken Holmqvist added three in the loss.
“Sayang ‘yung chances namin kanina, sayang,” lamented Lanete, who towed Manila to the quarters last night against Zaisan MMC Energy, “Pero masaya kami na na-experience namin ito at mahaba pa naman ang season. Madami pa kaming iimprove.”
But while Manila put up a fight, the same could not be said with Cebu, who was totally outplayed by one of the best 3×3 teams in the world.
Mac Tallo and Zach Huang still tried to get their side back late in the match, but it was a wall too insurmountable. The two finished with four points each.
“Kulang pa kami sa experience, kulang pa kami sa games. Magandang learning experience sa amin ito. Pinapangako namin na magiimprove pa kami at gagaling pa kami,” said Tallo, the country’s top-ranked 3×3 player.
Mihailo Vasic and marksman Nebojsa Kilijian took turns in making life difficult for the home team as they had eight and seven points for Liman, respectively.
Liman will take on Sansar in the knockout semis, where the other bracket will see world no. 1 Ub Huishan NE locks horns with Melbourne. The champion of the maximum level tournament will take home $40,000 (P2,093,000).
Meanwhile, Ulaanbaatar MMC Energy will take home $10,000 (P523,250) for finishing fifth in the tilt, Warsaw while got $4,000 (P209,300) richer for ending up at sixth.
Chris McIntosh of Auckland won the Shootout Competition with 13 points, besting Melbourne’s Jesse Wagstaff (10), Cebu’s Tallo (8), and Yokohama’s Tatsuhiro Noto (5).
Ub 20 – Stojacic 8, Barać 5, Brankovic 5, Majstorovic 2.
Warsaw 18 – Zamojski 8, Pawlowski 5, Rduch 3, Diduszko 2.
Melbourne 21 – Wagstaff 8, Hire 5, Steel 5, Wilks 3.
Ulaanbaatar 17 – Enkhbat 8, Sir 6, Davaasambuu 2, Tsogt 1.
Time: Wagstaff (9:18)
Sansar 21 – Ariunbold 9, Onolbaatar 6, Avarzed 4, Borgil 2.
Manila 16 – Iloka 7, Lanete 4, Holmqvist 3, Santos 2.
Time: Onolbaatar (8:07)
Liman 21 – Vasic 8, Kilijan 7, Kojic 5, Ratkov 1.
Cebu 11 – Huang 4, Tallo 4, Nzeusseu 3, Ramirez 0.
Time: Vasic FT (7:06)