University of Perpetual Help System-JONELTA of Laguna took a gold of their own after winning it all in the 2019 Chooks-to-Go Pilipinas 3×3/NBTC Tournament presented by SM, Thursday afternoon at the SM Mall of Asia Music Hall.
The Saints took down Santa Clarita International School-Iloilo in the down the wire finale, 21-19, behind the heroics of Kenneth Eugenio and Duke Madelo.
Eugenio hit a two-pointer with 40 seconds left to push UPHSJ ahead, 20-18. Instead for going for the equalizer, Santa Clarita gambled on a field goal to close in, 19-20. Madela then ended the contest with 10 ticks remaining.
Aside from Madela and Eugenio, the winning Saints include Paulo Paras and Michael Joseph Homo. UPHSJ eliminated Southwestern University-PHINMA of Cebu in the semifinals, 21-18, while Santa Clarita earned their spot over Calayan Educational Foundation-Lucena, 15-11.
The Saints opened their campaign in the group stages by beat Camp David-New Zealand, 21-11. This was followed by victories over Hope Christian High School-Manila, 14-12, and University of Baguio, 19-12, for a sweep of Group C.
Meanwhile, the Cobras salvaged third place over the Cougars, 21-14. All the winners took home trophies and gifts from sponsors.
A total of 16 3X3 teams participated and they were divided into four groups of four with the group winners advancing to the semifinals – the same format as the on-going Chooks-to-Go Pilipinas 3×3 President’s Cup.
The tournament is part of the ongoing NBTC National Finals and Chooks-to-Go Pilipinas 3×3 in hopes to help the Philippines by accumulating points in order to increase its FIBA 3X3 rank and qualify for the 2020 Tokyo Olympics.