In their second meeting in a span of two months, things got heated between Pasig Chooks-to-Go and Latvian club Riga Ghetto.
The high emotions of the game though got the best of Pasig as they succumbed to the world no. 3 squad, 17-21 with 2:06 left in the game, to fall out of the 2019 Tinkoff Moscow Challenger, Friday evening.
Pasig ended their campaign in Moscow with a 0-2 record in Pool C, suffering a 14-21 loss to Belgium’s Antwerp earlier in the day.
Like their first game, they gave their highly-touted opponents a run for their money.
Taylor Statham and Dylan Ababou gave Pasig a strong start with a 4-0 spurt.
The battle-tested Latvians though showed patience as the troika of Nauris Miezis, Kārlis Lasmanis, and Agnis Čavars scored nine unanswered points to put the Doha Masters winners on top.
Making things worse for Pasig was they figured in two confrontations that resulted to Statham being called for an unsportsmanlike foul and Joshua Munzon with a technical foul.
Fired up, the duo of Statham and Munzon carried Pasig on their backs.
Despite Miezis heating up from distance, Munzon used his speed to slash through the lane and slowly chip into the Riga lead.
Munzon had seven points to pace Pasig.
Though a dunk by Čavars sent Riga to just two points away from sealing the game, Munzon answered right back with a deuce to keep Pasig alive. A layup by Lasmanis sent Riga at match point with 3:08 left.
Ababou and Nikola Pavlovic continued to fight on, cutting the lead to just three. However, Statham was slapped with a technical foul for not properly inbounding the ball that resulted to a Lasmanis free throw to seal the win.
Statham and Ababou had five and four points, respectively.
Pasig Chooks-to-Go have lost their last four Challenger games dating back to Kunshan back in May.
Just like in Doha that saw Riga come out on top 15-21, Čavars and Miezis proved to be the bane for Pasig, scoring eight and seven points respectively.
Riga 21 – Čavars 8, Miezis 7, Lasmanis 4, Krumins 2.
Pasig 17 – Munzon 7, Statham 5, Ababou 4, Pavlovic 1.
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