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3x3 Basketball

Pasaol-led Balanga look to finally end Chooks 3×3 heartbreaks

One team will rise above the rest and bring home one-million pesos when the Grand Finals of the Chooks-to-Go Pilipinas 3×3 Magiting Cup presented by Coca-Cola takes place on Friday, September 20 at the SM Megamall Events Center.

Already seeded in the quarterfinals of this tournament that is sanctioned by the Samahang Basketbol ng Pilipinas and endorsed by FIBA 3X3 are two-leg champions Wilkins-Balanga Pure, leg four winners Equalivet-Pasig Kings, leg two victors Fyr Fyter Bacolod, and Patriot’s Cup kings Phenom-Basilan CTC Construction Steel.

Wilkins Balanga, who await the winner of the Adobo Connection-Gulf Supreme Bulacan Boosters and Partas Narvacan game, will field its usual quartet of Alvin Pasaol, Karl Dehesa, Santi Santillan, and Chris De Chavez.

“Hindi na puwede yung puwede na,” said Pasaol as they look to end their campaign with a championship after runners-up finished in the President’s and Patriot’s Cups. “Championship lang ang goal namin, wala ng iba.”

Joining Dylan Ababou, Joshua Munzon, and Leo De Vera for the Kings is big man JR Alabanza, who guided Pasig to the top of the fourth leg.

“Kailangan pa namin i-step up yung game namin. Kailangan mas maganda pa yung pakita namin sa Grand Finals kaysa nung fourth leg,” said Ababou as they take on the winner Thunder-Gold’s Gym Taguig-Zamboanga Valientes MLV game.

Composing Fyr Fyter Bacolod are Adrian Celada, Louie Medalla, Mark Dela Cruz, and John Nermal while Phenom Basilan will consist of Troy Rike, Franky Johnson, Aris Dionisio, and Gab Dagangon.

“We need to leave it all out there. Our games against Pasig and Balanga have been just one or two pointers both times I think so we definitely think we have a good chance to win it all,” said Rike, who is looking for his third championship in as many conferences.

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“Kailangan namin patunayan na hindi fluke yung panalo namin nung leg two sa Grand Finals,” shared Celada.

Bacolod will face the winner of the Crossovr Magma Bicol-Vigan HUP Wolves bout while Phenom-Basilan will square off against the victor of the Mindoro Tamaraws 7A-J&J Muntinlupa tilt.

On the other hand, the team that ends up with the most total points after the Grand Finals will punch their ticket to the 2019 Jeju Challenger, which takes place from October 5-6. Only Balanga (340), Pasig (310), Bacolod (280), and Basilan (280) have a shot at representing the Philippines in the level nine-FIBA 3×3 tourney.

The second and third placers will not go home empty-handed, bringing home PHP 500,000 and 250,000, respectively.

Prior to the quarterfinals games, an exhibition contest between the Gilas Pilipinas Women’s 3×3 pool will take place at 11:00 am. Program director Patrick Aquino will bring in Afril Bernardino, Janine Pontejos, Gemma Miranda, Ria Nabalan, Chack Cabinbin, Snow Penaranda, Khate Castillo, and Tina Deacon.

The Chooks-to-Go Harissa Roast Two-point Shootout will take place at 12:50 pm while the much-anticipated Slam Dunk competition will begin at 2:30 pm.

The entire event will be shown live across all platforms of ESPN5.

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