Still reeling from their loss in the finale of the first leg, the Pasig Grindhouse Kings exacted vengeance on the 1Bataan Risers in the second leg of the Chooks-to-Go Pilipinas 3×3 President’s Cup with a thrilling 21-18 victory in a rematch of the finals, Sunday at the SM Megamall Events Center.
Joshua Munzon delivered the game-winning two-pointer with 1:25 left over the outstretched arms of Santi Santillan, as Pasig Grindhouse – who also pocketed P100,000 from MLV Accounting RPS Zamboanga – redeemed themselves from their finals loss a week ago.
“It was so sweet, especially after losing the last leg in the championship game,” said Munzon. “It was a great comeback for us.”
The dynamic Fil-Am scorer led the way for Pasig with eight points. Taylor Statham was right behind Munzon with seven, while Dylan Ababou chipped in with six.
Pasig were in the driver’s seat with a 12-6 advantage midway through the contest. And things went from bad to worse for Bataan, as Sean Manganti hurt his right ankle while taking a jumper. However, Manganti’s injury seemed to have lit a fire underneath the Risers as they clawed their way back into the fold.
Santillan eventually gave Bataan the lead, 15-14 with a pair of free throws. Meanwhile, Manganti battled through injury, reentered the game, then delivered a viscous stepback jumper that capped off a 10-2 run by the Risers.
But Pasig were able to hold off the Bataan’s comeback bid thanks to timely stops and crucial baskets down the stretch.
“We needed to stop fouling. We needed to get stops,” Munzon pointed out. “We have to find a way to take control a little bit. We just found a way.”
Statham knotted the game at 18 apiece, then basket from Ababou gave Pasig a slim one-point lead with 1:40 remaining. But Santillan’s succeeding hook shot missed, which paved the way for Munzon’s game-winning long bomb.
“Just keep working, just stay hungry, not getting satisfied,” Munzon shared about the team’s focus in the remaining legs. “And continue to make that push. We want it all so keep grinding it out.”
In order to get through the last stage of the tournament, Pasig needed to outlast the Vigan Baluarte Wolves in the semis, 20-19. On the other hand, Bataan had an easier route to the finals, disposing of the San Juan Knights-Go for Gold, 21-15, in just five minutes and 35 seconds.
Meanwhile, Jan Jamon of the Carga Valenzuela Classics won the second leg’s Gameville 3-point shootout with six triples, edging Pasig’s Ababou. In the Gameville Dunk Contest, Joe Gomez De Liano was crowned champion.
Pasig-Grindhouse 21 –– Munzon 8, Statham 7, Ababou 6, Rike 0.
1Bataan 18 — Santillan 6, Asistio 5, Pasaol 4, Manganti 3.