Joshua Munzon proved to everyone why he’s the top 3×3 player in the country, towing Pasig Chooks to a thrilling 21-20 (7:59) Finals triumph over rival Balanga Chooks in the first leg of the Men’s Chooks-to-Go Pilipinas 3×3 MelMac Cup in Gold’s Gym Sheridan in Mandaluyong.
The Fil-Am guard was scorching hot with his six deuces to finish with 13 points. His biggest bucket came from the charity stripe, canning the game-winning freebie off of a foul from Santi Santillan with 2:01 left in the game.
The game had everything a fan could ask for between the top Filipino 3×3 ballclubs. Munzon went up against a hobbling yet still courageous Alvin Pasaol in the nip-and-tuck championship match, which is presented by Gold’s Gym and Coca-Cola.
Pasaol put Balanga ahead, 19-18 with a freebie with 2:35 left, but Munzon responded with a quick two to grab the 20-19 lead. Santillan then emphatically knotted the game at 20 with a thunderous one-handed jam that set up the wild finish.
However, Balanga could not capitalize on a Pasig scramble, as officials whistled Santillan for a traveling violation with 2:04 remaining.
That opened the window for Munzon to slash to the rim and draw the foul to close out the tightly contested first leg.
“We’re very competitive. Every time we step on the court, we want to prove that we’re the best team in the Philippines, and we know that everybody’s out there to beat us,” said Munzon.
“We just got to keep on doing the right things and continue to make the right plays.”
Franky Johnson also had his share with seven points, while Troy Rike had one for Pasig, who bagged the P100,000 cash prize.
Pasaol, meanwhile, bucked a sprained ankle and poured 13 points for Balanga.
Santillan had four points, while Karl Dehesa chimed in three for the runners-up, who settled for the P30,000 prize.
Quezon City Capitols took home the third place, which comes with a P10,000 consolation and make the podium in the 16-team field.
Pasig 21 — Munzon 13, Johnson 7, Rike 1, Ababou 0.
Balanga 20 — Pasaol 13, Santillan 4, Dehesa 3, De Chavez 0.
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