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3x3 Basketball

PBA 3×3: Platinum Karaoke ends long misery, cops first leg crown

Platinum Karaoke ruled Leg 4 of the PBA 3×3 Season 2 Second Conference to cap off an amazing playoff run, Sunday at the Robinsons Place Malabon.

The team of coach Anton Altamirano finally broke through, beating a tough Cavitex side in the Final 13-12, to claim the P100,000 prize money.

A squad that emerged as an early favorite prior to the competition’s launch late last year owing to its ex-players’ 3×3 pedigree, the Dipak Asudani-owned Platinum Karaoke previously made the leg finals twice, but always ended up as a bridesmaid.

But there was no denying the team this time.

Terrence Tumalip hit a clutch deuce that made it a 13-10 lead with 52 seconds left, while big man Brandon Bates blocked a potential game-winning 2 by Jorey Napoles at the buzzer to preserve the hard-earned win.

Tumalip finished with six points, Bates with four, Nico Salva added three, while Yutien Andrada, the only player who remained from the original Platinum Karaoke team, supplied five rebounds and two block shots.

“So proud of this team. It’s been a long time coming,” said Altamirano, who finally got his victory ride shortly after the game.

“Ang tagal naming hinintay ito. It’s God’s will.” added the youthful mentor, who’s been involved in the local 3×3 scene for several years now.

CAVITEX bagged P50,000 after a second straight runner-up finish. Napoles led the Braves with six points and six rebounds, including a long two that put his side to within a point, 13-12, in the final 44 seconds.

The MVP Group-owned club even had the chance to salvage the win, but Bates was there to save the day for Platinum by foiling Napoles’ final attempt.

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On the way to the finals, Platinum spoiled the dynastic TNT’s back-to-back title bid and a fourth straight finals appearance in the conference with a close 13-12 win in their quarterfinals duel.

“That gave us a big boost,” said Salva of Platinum’s upset of the Tropang Giga, easily the most decorated team in the PBA’s halfcourt competitions.

In the semifinals, Platinum edged another former leg winner J&T Express, 15-13, to advance to the title bout.

CAVITEX earlier defeated Barangay Ginebra in the quarterfinals, 18-12, and beat Blackwater in the semis, 21-19.

The Express, meanwhile, denied the Bossing a first-ever podium finish by hacking out a 22-20 overtime victory as Joseph Sedurifa and Robert Datu accounted for a combined 18 points for the newcomers.

Veteran guard Robin Rono hit the game-winning two-pointer to give the Express the P30,000 prize money for third place.

The scores:
Platinum Karaoke (13) – Tumalip 6, Bates 4, Salva 3, Andrada 0.

CAVITEX (12) – Napoles 6, Fajardo 4, Saldua 1, Rangel 1.

Third-place game
J&T (22) – Sedurifa 9, Datu 9, Rono 3, Hayes 1

Blackwater (20) – Tamsi 8, Cani 7, Escoto 5, Rivero 0.

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