Pasig’s run in the 2019 Chooks-to-Go Manila Challenger ended at the hands of familiar foe Lyon of France in the quarterfinals, 17-20, Sunday afternoon.
It was a tough defeat for Pasig as it was the last Filipino team standing after Isabela City, Narvacan, and Zamboanga bowed out in the qualifying draw while Balanga could not make it out of the main draw yesterday.
“No excuses,” said Pasig ace Joshua Munzon as Pasig defeated Lyon back in the Poitiers Challengers last July, 23-20 in overtime.
This one will be tough to swallow for Pasig as it had control of most of the game.
Behind Nikola Pavlovic, Pasig was up by three, 13-10, with 2:21 left. This despite going on a three-minute drought midway through the contest.
With their shots from distance not falling, Lyon’s Raphael Wilson decided to take things inside, sparking a 6-0 spurt to silence the crowd inside the SM Fairview Events Center.
Pavlovic tried to stop the bleeding with a clutch deuce with 39 seconds left. However, hulking big man Raphael Giaimo and Hervé Touré knocked down big baskets to punch their ticket to the semis.
Giaimo led Lyon with seven points while Touré tallied five points and 10 rebounds. Wilson chipped in five markers as well.
Pavlovic paced Pasig with nine points while Munzon added seven.
Completing the Final Four in this tournament that has USD 32,000 in pot money and two tickets to the Jeddah Masters at stake are Riga Ghetto, Ulaanbaatar, and Gagarin.
Riga broke the hearts of Melbourne with a 21-19 win, Ulaanbaatar completely outclassed Antwerp 21-14, while Gagarin outlasted Humpolec 21-18 in the other elite eight matches.
Riga will face Ulaanbaatar while Lyon takes on Gagarin in the other bracket.
Lyon 20 – Giaimo 7, Touré 5, Wilson 5, Girma 3.
Pasig 17 – Pavlovic 9, Munzon 7, Ababou 1, Rike 0.