Bataan books 3x3 World Tour berth despite Super Quest blunder
MANILA, Philippines – A mental lapse proved costly for home team Bataan Risers in the 2019 Chooks-to-Go 3X3 Asia Pacific Super Quest.
The Risers were victims to a late-game meltdown by Santi Santillan, wasting their valiant stand against world No. 19 Tokyo Dime, 22-20, in the finale at the SM Megamall Fashion Hall on Sunday, April 7.
"Good fight. It was a physical game, a tough game and I like it. Filipino guys are very tough," said Tokyo Dime's Tomoyo Ochiai, Japan's top-ranked 3x3 player.
Masahiro Komatsu drained the game winning two-pointer over the outstretched arms of Santillan with 33 seconds to spare, to finish off the Risers who earlier looked moments away from taking the championship in the race-to-21 game.
With 1:21 left, Alvin Pasaol scored inside to put Bataan to just a point away, 20-18, of clinching the match.
A quick basket by Tokyo’s Serbian reinforcement Peter Perunovic cut the lead to just a solitary point. However, Santillan got stuck underneath, calling a timeout.
But Bataan – which led by as many as 5 in the game – had no timeouts to burn, resulting to a technical foul.
"Siyempre pagsisi," lamented Santillan, who also missed a potential championship-clinching shot. "Down ako kasi parang ako yung dahilan kung bakit natalo, pero nandiyan yung mga teammates ko, naging positive mga sinasabi nila sa akin."
(Of course there was regret. I felt down because I was the reason we lost, but my teammates were there telling me only positive things.)
World no. 97 Ochiai led Tokyo with 6 points as Pernuovic chipped in 5 for the champions, who bagged the US $50,000 prize and punched tickets to both the 2019 FIBA 3x3 World Tour Masters in Doha, Qatar from April 18 to 19 and FIBA 3X3 Challenger Penang on May 12 to 13.
Pasaol led the Risers with 7 points as Travis Franklin added 6 for the runners-up, who took home $15,000 and a ticket to the World Tour in Doha as well.
Tokyo Dime denied an All-Filipino finale after eking out a 16-11 win over the Pasig Grindhouse Kings.
Pasig, which already qualified to the World Tour Masters Doha by winning the President's Cup, will also compete in the Kunshan Challengers from May 18 to 19 following their third-place finish. The Kings also brought home $7,000.
Jakarta West, which 1Bataan defeated in the semis 21-18, pocketed $4,000 and will also head to Kunshan.
Ulaanbaatar, Aotearoa, SSLC, and TSV Reading Cinemas went home with $1,000 for finishing in the top 8.
Tokyo Dime 22 – Ochiai 6, Perunovic 6, Komatsu 5, Suzuki 5,
1Bataan 20 – Pasaol 7, Franklin 5, Santillan 5, Dehesa 3.