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Manila Chooks ends a 15-month FIBA 3×3 World Tour Masters losing streak after downing China’s Fujian in Cebu
CEBU, Philippines — The Philippines advanced to the quarterfinals of the FIBA 3×3 World Tour Cebu Masters after a pulsating 21-17 (1:39) win over Chinese team Futian at the SM Seaside City here on Saturday, September 23.
Mac Tallo, the top 3×3 player in the country, lifted Manila Chooks to victory after hitting the game-winning deuce from the left wing.
It also ended a 15-month Masters losing streak for a Philippine team that is looking to rack up enough points to make it to the Paris 3×3 Olympic Qualifying Tournament next year.
The Cebuano guard, backed by scores of his compatriots watching inside the mall, made the key plays down the stretch.
He ended up with a team-high 9 points, including some highlight-worthy passes that led to big buckets late and the final three points by his own hand.
Manila Chooks, which is comprised of Tallo, Marcus Hammonds, Marquez Letcher-Ellis, and Tosh Sesay, will need all the effort it could muster as it will face the world’s top 3×3 team, Serbia’s Ub, in the knockout quarterfinals on Sunday, September 24.
During its first assignment, Manila was not able to sustain its hot start and fell against the world No. 5 3×3 team Vienna of Austria, 20-14.
Following a Hammonds two-pointer that hiked the lead of the locals, 10-5, Vienna responded with an 8-1 run capped off by consecutive hits from rainbow country by Nico Kaltenbrunner, 13-11.
After a Mac Tallo layup that bridged the gap to one, 13-12, the Viennese uncorked 7 unanswered points to pull away.
Tallo nailed a meaningless two-pointer just before the buzzer to lower the final margin.
On the other hand, after beating Auckland and Taichung in the qualification draw to claim the 12th and final spot in the main draw, Lubao surrendered both of its assignments to Miami and Mongolia’s Ulaanbaatar, respectively, to bow out.
The team was represented by PBA 3×3 stalwart TH Tumalip, along with former Lyceum Pirate Mike Nzeusseu, Spaniard Jose Blázquez, and Croatian Stanko Kujundžić.
Former NBA lottery pick Jimmer Fredette ended the contest at the 2:29 mark from downtown to give the Americans a 22-15 victory over the Filipinos.
In the final game of the night, the Mongolians sent the Pampanga-based squad packing, 21-17 (1:13).
Other teams that qualified to the quarterfinals include Miami; San Juan, Puerto Rico; Ulaanbaatar; Amsterdam; Vienna, and China’s Wuxi. — Rappler.com