Nauris Miezis knocked down the game-winner against France’s Lyon to lift Riga Ghetto to the top of the 2019 Chooks-to-Go Manila Challenger, 21-20 (8:30), Sunday at the SM Fairview Events Center.
With the game knotted at 20-all, the fourth-best 3×3 player in the world zoomed from the inbound, knocking down a tough lay-up against Frenchman Raphael Giaimo to bring home a cool USD 15,000.
“It was tough. The competition was hard here in Manila but the atmosphere here is amazing. This is one to remember,” said top-ranked 3×3 player Karlis Lasmanis of Riga, who was crowned as the tournament Most Valuable Player after averaging 7.2 points in five games played.
Miezis had seven points in the finale, going 5-of-5 from the inside while Lasmanis and Artūrs Strēlnieks added five markers each.
Riga only won by a thin margin of just 2.0 points per game in the entire playoffs, beating Melbourne in the quarterfinals by just two points, 21-19, and Ulaanbataar by just a solitary point, 16-15.
Raphael Wilson paced Lyon in the championship round with 10 points.
Both Riga Ghetto and Lyon will head to the 2019 FIBA 3X3 Jeddah Masters which takes place on October 18-19, 2019.
Lyon also pocketed USD 10,000 while Ulaanbaatar and Gagarin banked USD 5,000 and 2,000, respectively.
Philippine-side Pasig Chooks could not outlast Lyon in the quarters, falling 17-20.
Pasig had to best fellow Filipino teams Isabela City and Zamboanga in the qualifiers to get to the main draw yesterday. Narvacan, on the other hand, failed to advance to the main draw.
On the other hand, Balanga Chooks was swept in Pool A, losing to Humpolec, 16-22, and Riga, 15-22.
It was a double-celebration for Riga’s Artūrs Strēlnieks as he won the two-point shootout, bringing home an extra USD 500.
American dunk artist Kevin “Golden Child” Kemp took down the slam dunk competition to win USD 1,000. Filipino dunk kings David Carlos and Darwin Cantong also took part in the side-event.