Bataan seizes Chooks 3x3 3rd leg crown from top rival Pasig
MANILA, Philippines – For the third straight leg in the Chooks-to-Go Pilipinas 3x3 President's Cup, the Bataan Risers and the Pasig Grindhouse Kings met in the finale, which proved to be yet another classic.
This time around, Bataan was able to rise to the occasion, eking out a 21-19 victory over their archrivals in the SM Fairview Events Center on Friday, March 1.
With the win, the Risers were able to pick up a 20-point cushion over the Kings in the overall standings in the five-leg tourney, 280 to 260.
Unlike their 19-18 win in the first tour last February 16, the collegiate star core of Bataan had to grind out minus Sean Manganti. To their rescue came PBA veteran Chito Jaime, who proved to be the mature anchor the young Risers needed.
"Ine-expect namin na tough lagi yung laban namin against them kasi mas malalaki sila sa amin," said 5-foot-8 guard Anton Asistio. (I’m always expecting a tough battle against them because they’re bigger than us.)
Not wanting to suffer the same fate as they did last weekend, the former UAAP champion from Ateneo provided the spark for Bataan, scoring 6 of his team's first 10 points to gain a four-point cushion.
Not letting up, the second-leg champion trio of Taylor Statham, Troy Rike, and Dylan Ababou bulldozed their way to the paint to knot things up at 10-all.
Pasig would slowly chip off the lead behind the efforts of Joshua Munzon and Statham. However, fouls plagued the Kings late in the game.
With the game tied at 18-all, Munzon fouled Pasaol, Pasig's eighth for the game, that resulted to a split. Santillan would score in the next possession but Ababou gave Pasig a chance with 41 ticks remaining.
Munzon and Statham though could not convert on their attempts that ultimately led to their downfall. A split free throw trip by Santillan with 1.6 seconds left sealed Bataan's second championship and a cool P100,000.
"Kailangan namin bumawi talaga no excuses," said Pasaol. (We needed to get back at them, no excuses.)
Bataan, which experienced its first loss in the group stages – a 14-17 setback to the Gerald Anderson-led Marikina Shoemaster – still managed to reach the final stage after a routine 21-12 win over the Vigan Wolves.
Pasig, on the other hand, picked up an equally dominant 22-12 triumph against the Pasay Voyagers.
The President's Cup returns to the SM Megamall Events Center on Saturday, March 9.
Bataan 21 - Asistio 6, Santillan 5, Pasaol 5, Jaime 5.
Pasig 19 - Munzon 6, Ababou 6, Statham 6, Rike 1.