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3x3 Basketball

Limitless completes back-to-back bid in PBA 3×3

Limitless App owned TNT once again, 21-18, to become the first-ever PBA 3×3 back-to-back champions, Tuesday night at SMART Araneta Coliseum.

Jorey Napoles led the Appmasters with seven points, none bigger than the rare three-point play he made with 1:49 left that gave his side the lead for good en route to ruling Leg 6 — and bagging home P100,000 as well.

Reymar Caduyac made six points. Brandon Ganuelas-Rosser supplied five, while Marvin Hayes added three as he braved through an ankle injury.

“Past games namin, may mga struggles na dumating. Doon kami natuto kaya siguro nakuha namin ‘tong [legs] five and six,” said Napoles.

Limitless was actually in control of the match with an 11-6 lead approaching the midway mark of the match, until Hayes got hurt at the 4:34-mark. He landed on the foot of counterpart Chris Javier following a joust for the rebound.

The Tropang Giga then capitalized on his absence. They eventually tied the game up at 13-all after Javier’s lay-up with less than two minutes to go.

But that’s when Napoles came through. He made a tough basket while fouled by Lervin Flores, which sent him to the line for two shots as the opposition got called for its seventh foul. He calmly made both to make it a 16-13 lead.

Hayes managed to come back into the game and even drilled a two-pointer to stretch their lead to five, 18-13, with 1:19 remaining.

TNT still tried to put up one last fight. It knocked within two twice behind Almond Vosotros and Javier, but its foul situation proved to be the difference.

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Napoles went on to seal the win with a free throw with 7.9 ticks left as the Appmasters broke the hearts of the Tropa anew — like what they did in the previous stop last December 12 by way of a 14-13 decision.

“Alam namin babawi ang TNT. Inisip lang namin, kung ano lang ginawa namin nung Leg 5, dagdagan lang namin [lalo] sa depensa,” said Hayes.

En route to completing its back-to-back bid that finally broke the trend in the PBA’s halfcourt competitions, Limitless first finished Pool A as the no. 2 seed at 3-1, then downed Meralco and San Miguel to set up a rematch with TNT.

Meanwhile, Platinum Karaoke conquered San Miguel Beer, 21-13, to secure a third-place finish in this Level 5 FIBA 3×3 tournament.

JR Alabanza turned in a showing to remember with 13 points to power the guest team, who reached the podium again after a runner-up finish in Leg 3.

Yutien Andrada supplied four points, while Karl Dehesa and Chris De Chavez added two markers apiece as Platinum won Php 30,000.

This is now the last leg heading into the Grand Finals on December 29 at the Big Dome, with the 10 qualified teams set to be known this week.

The Scores:

Limitless 21 – Napoles 7, Caduyac 6, Rosser 5, Hayes 3.

TNT 18 – Javier 8, Vosotros 4, Flores 4, Gozum 2.

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