Franky Johnson sinks million-peso shot in cardiac Chooks 3x3 finals
MANILA, Philippines – There are new kings in 3x3 basketball.
Newcomer Phenom-Basilan Steel completed its Cinderella run in the 2019 Chooks-to-Go Pilipinas 3x3 Patriot's Cup presented by Coca-Cola, outlasting the veteran-laden Wilkins-Balanga Pure, 21-20 in an overtime thriller on Saturday, July 27 at the SM Megamall Events Center.
Not only did Basilan punch its ticket to the 2019 FIBA 3x3 Jeddah Masters on October 18 to 19, the team also brought home the P1 million cash prize.
And Basilan had no one else to thank but Franky Johnson for this one.
In the race-to-two extra time period, Basilan was down one after a Karl Dehesa layup.
Showing his veteran wares in the next possession, Troy Rike made a quick handoff to Franky Johnson, screening Dehesa. The 6-foot-3 guard then danced his way on the right corner, before heaving a fadeaway deuce over the outstretched arms of Dehesa.
Pandemonium ensued afterward.
"Everything was just moving so fast," recalled Johnson. "I wasn’t even thinking about that shot, but as soon as my teammate got the rebound and got the ball to me, I was just kinda open a little bit so I just decided to pull it.”
"Thank God it went in, so I’m really excited about that," he added.
"The play didn’t come off as cleanly as we wanted," said Rike, who was part of the Grindhouse-Pasig squad that ruled the President's Cup 4 months ago.
"But that’s what I’m saying. I trust Franky, I believe in Franky and he’s one hell of a shooter. So I know that if I give him even an inch of space, I knew he was gonna knock it down."
Johnson had 4 points in the Million Peso Game while Rike had one.
Marcus Hammonds and Roosevelt Adams had 11 and 6 points, respectively, for the Steel.
For the second straight conference, the Balanga franchise finished in 2nd place, bringing home P400,000 and a ticket to the 2019 Xiongan Challenger on August 23 to 24.
Alvin Pasaol and Travis Franklin paced Balanga with 7 points each. Chris De Chavez, who forced overtime with a driving layup with 6 ticks remaining, and Dehesa added 3 markers apiece.
In order to get to the last stage of this tournament sanctioned by the Samahang Basketbol ng Pilipinas and endorsed by FIBA 3x3, Basilan cruised by Tycoon-Ballers QC, 21-4 (4:28), in the quarterfinals while outlasting Leg Two champs VetHealth-Delhi 3BL in the semis, 21-14 (2:31).
Wilkins-Balanga, on the other hand, survived a heated game against arch-rivals Gold's Gym-Pasig Kings in the semis, 21-17 (2:55).
The Kings completed the podium, bagging P200,000.
In the side events, VetHealth-Delhi's Kiran Shastri completed a five-leg sweep of the Coca-Cola Two-Point Shootout while David Carlos and Brodie Stephens were crowned co-champions in the Coca-Cola Slam Dunk Competition.
Phenom-Basilan 21 – Hammonds 11, Adams 6, Johnson 4, Rike 1.
Wilkins-Balanga 20 – Pasaol 7, Franklin 7, De Chavez 3, Dehesa 3.