Sista ran over Pioneer ProTibay in a battle of adhesive giants, 21-13, to rule the third leg of the PBA 3×3 inaugurals, Sunday at the Ynares Sports Arena.
The Super Sealers put on a dominant outing to finish the stop unbeaten in six games – quite an achievement for a team that went winless in its first foray. But they later broke through in the next leg that saw them reach the quarterfinals.
Kenneth Mocon starred with nine points, while RJ Argamino had six. The tandem of Prince Rivero and Leo De Vera combined for five in the triumph.
The Rain or Shine franchise also wins PHP 100,000 in the Level 5 FIBA 3×3 tournament.
“Gusto lang talaga namin manalo ever since the start–first game pa lang,” said Mocon, whose team first swept the pool stage (3-0) before going past Limitless App and Purefoods to reach the final. “Every game we learned.
“And, alam namin sa sarili namin na magkakaroon ng time na, ito na nga, ‘yung chemistry namin mabubuo na talaga ng solid. And we did really well.”
Mocon and Argamino connived for back-to-back deuces early to turn a one-point deficit to a 7-4 Sista lead with less than seven minutes on the clock.
Their foes managed to answer back with a two-ball of its own care of Carlo De Chavez. Then Rivero’s back-to-back hits sparked an overwhelming 11-1 assault that gave the Super Sealers an 18-7 advantage with 1:56 remaining.
Argamino knocked in another shot from the outside to put his side to match point with less than a minute to go. The game-clinching shot, though, proved challenging to find, allowing Pioneer to put together a mini run.
Gian Abrigo was the one who tried to will his squad. It was all too late for the guest team, though. Sista celebrated when the final buzzer sounded.
“I’m really proud of these guys,” expressed 3×3 veteran De Vera. “Lahat talaga nag-step up, nag-lead. We stayed composed through out the whole game. And our chemistry, we stuck together talaga hanggang sa dulo.”
Abrigo had six points to lead Pioneer, who has turned many heads with this runner-up finish. This, despite a rough start into the tournament, losing two games via forfeiture due to GAB clearance issues.
The third seed in Pool A, Pioneer stunned favorites Platinum Karaoke, 21-19, in the quarters. Then they beat Terrafirma, 16-15, in the semis to reach the title bout first.
Meanwhile, the motivated Dyip turned back the Tender Juicy Giants, 21-16. They clinch the third-place finish and bag PHP 30,000.
The crew of Matt Salem, Terrence Tumalip, Dhon Reverente, and Jebb Bulawan will give the money to help out in the hospital bills of Roider Cabrera.
Sista 20 – Mocon 9, Argamino 6, Rivero 4, De Vera 1.
Pioneer 13 – Abrigo 6, Rivera 5, De Chavez 2, Escalambre 0.