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3x3 Basketball

Munzon saves struggling FBS-Zamboanga City from Palayan upset

CALAMBA, LAGUNA – Joshua Munzon saved Family’s Brand Sardines-Zamboanga City Chooks from another disaster, lifting his side to a 19-17 overtime win over Palayan City in the 2020 Chooks-to-Go Pilipinas 3×3 President’s Cup powered by TM, Tuesday at the INSPIRE Sports Academy here.

Figuring in the first game that reached extra time in this tournament that is sanctioned by the Games and Amusements Board and endorsed by FIBA 3X3, Munzon took matters into his own hands in the race-to-two period.

A JP Sarao foul on the Filipino-American winger that resulted in a freebie gave Zamboanga City the advantage. After a Bobby Balucanag turnover, Munzon swooped to the basket for the game-winner in the Pool D contest.

“It’s having some slow starts but it’s not how you start, it’s how you finish,” said the top-ranked 3×3 player in the country, who had eight points in the contest.

Lackadaisical was the start of Zamboanga City, falling behind 9-16 with three minutes left. Troy Rike, Santi Santillan, and Munzon knocked down three straight deuces to slice the lead down to just one.

Down 16-17 with 13.6 ticks left, Santillan powered his way to the paint for a sweeping hook to send the game into overtime.

“We are going through what every team goes, the highs and the lows. Just got to go through it,” said Munzon as they are coming off an 18-21 (8:09) loss to Pasig-Sta. Lucia in the third leg of this tournament that has Gatorade as its official hydration partner last Sunday.

Rike had five points as Santillan and Alvin Pasaol were limited to just three points, respectively.

Earlier, Sarangani was able to exact vengeance on foil Bacolod-Masters Sardines to open Pool A action, taking a dominant 21-13 (7:18) win.

Marvin Hayes fired eight points in the contest, all from downtown.

The Marlins and Bacolod last met back in the quarterfinals of Leg Three, bowing 20-21 (8:59)

In other contests, the Zamboanga Valientes MLV torched Petra Cement Roxas ZN, 21-11 (5:45) in Pool B while Gab Banal and Nueva Ecija overpowered Bicol-Paxful 3×3 Pro, 21-13 (6:44) in Pool C.

Eight more elimination round games, the knockout playoffs, and the TM side events are still taking place as of publishing.

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