World no. 15 Delhi drops Basilan in thrilling 3×3 leg final
Top Philippine bet Basilan bows to the Indian squad by just a point in the title match


CLUTCH. Delhi celebrates after world No. 62 Kiran Shastri (right) knocks in the game winner. Photo release


MANILA, Philipiines – Fielding a complete lineup this time, VetHealth-Delhi 3BL ruled the second leg of the 2019 Chooks-to-Go Pilipinas 3×3 Patriot’s Cup presented by Coca-Cola. 

Still, the world No. 15 squad needed a game-winner from Kiran Shastri to outlast the Phenom-Basilan Steel, 21-20 (3:36), on Sunday, June 23, at the SM Fairview Events Center. 

“It was a hard-fought tournament. Really excited to be here,” said Shastri, the No. 62-ranked player in the world. “It was a good win for us and we’re really proud of the way we played.”

Down 19-20 with under 4 minutes left in the game, Shastri missed a deuce but big man Bikramjit Gill grabbed the rebound. Bikramjit then found a wide-open Shastri, who knocked down the game-winning deuce. 

“Our opponents were great and we just tried to win,” continued Shastri, who had 8 points in the game.

Fil-Am guard Franky Johnson was on fire to start the game, scoring 12 of Phenom-Basilan’s first 16 points to give his side a three-point lead with 5:13 left.

However, Bikramjit Gill and newcomer AJ Gill powered VetHealth-Delhi to a 5-0 run, giving the Indians a two-point cushion.

Needing a bucket to stop the bleeding, Basilan import Marcus Hammonds took matters into his own hands, knotting things up with a huge deuce with 4:10 remaining. 

Inderbir Gill answered right back by willing his way to the paint for a lay-in to give Delhi the advantage but Roosevelt Adams was not to be denied. The 6-foot-4 sniper knocked down a deuce with 3:57 left in the game to retake the lead for Phenom-Basilan. 

Delhi, however, answered with Shastri delivering the heroics. 

Indian national team member AJ Gill added 7 points for VetHealth-Delhi. 

Besides bringing home P100,000, VetHealth-Delhi closed in on Gold’s Gym-Pasig in the standings. 

The Kings, who will miss the third leg as they will join the Poitiers Challenger in France from July 6 to 7, remain on top with 170 points. VetHealth-Delhi and Phenom-Basilan are tied at second with 160 points. Wilkins-Balanga completes the top 4 with 130 points. 

This was the first-ever leg in league history that did not feature either Pasig or Balanga in the finals as the former lost to Basilan, 20-18, while the latter fell to Delhi, 22-15 (1:43).

In the side events, Shastri retained his Coca-Cola Two-point Shootout crown after outlasting Inoza-Gulf Bulacan’s Jan Jamon in the 25-second tiebreaker challenge, 6-5.

David Carlos, meanwhile, remained as the Coca-Cola Slam Dunk king after stamping his class over Jebb Bulawan and Kenyan dunk artist Obi Fly.

The Scores: 

VetHealth-Delhi 21 – Shastri 8, Gill A. 7, Gill K 4, Gill I 2.

Phenom-Basilan 20 – Johnson 12, Adams 4, Hammonds 4, Rike 0.