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3x3 Basketball

Furious Munzon rally falls short as Manila Chooks bows to Liman in Doha WT opener

DOHA — Joshua Munzon could not replicate his feat against Liman last year as Manila Chooks TM bowed to the top 3×3 team in the world, 15-22 (7:38), in Pool A of the 2020 FIBA 3X3 Doha World Tour Masters, Friday at the Al Gharafa Sports Complex here.

Down by as much as seven points early, 5-12, Philippine no. 1 player Joshua Munzon found his touch from distance, knocking down three deuces in an 8-2 rally to cut the lead down to just one, 13-14, with 4:16 left.

Helping lift Manila Chooks was the huge Filipino contingent in the venue.

Liman though utilized its size, leaning on Mihailo Vasic and Stefan Kojic — both 6-foot-6 — to regain their lead.

Though Alvin Pasaol tried to keep Manila afloat but Stefan Stojacic, who is the head trainer of Gilas 3×3, shut the door for any comeback. The 2017 World Tour MVP knocked down the game-sealing deuce with 2:22 to spare to sweep Pool A and advance to the knockout playoffs on Saturday.

Munzon led the Philippines with nine points built on four deuces while Pasaol added four markers.

Troy Rike and Santi Santillan had a point each with the latter grabbing three boards as well.

Liman, who earlier beat Lusail 21-8 (6:43) earlier in the day, were led by Vasic and Kojic with seven points apiece.

Stojacic and Aleksandar Ratkov had four points each with the former hauling five boards as well.

Manila will face home team Lusail in a do-or-die encounter at 1:35AM (Manila time).

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