Carl Bryan Cruz white-hot from three, lifts Chooks to Go Pilipinas over Thailand
MANILA, Philippines – In their third game in 3 days, Chooks to Go Pilipinas regained their footing in the FIBA Asia Champions Cup in Chenzhou, China, winning 115-102 against Mono Vampire Thailand on Sunday, September 24.
The young Philippine squad was in a hurry to get out of their current slump, scoring 31 points in the first quarter compared to 22 for the Thais.
They slightly slowed down before the half and let the Vampires cut the lead to one near the 1-minute mark, 51-50. However, two quick 3s in the last minute helped Chooks grab a 57-51 lead heading into the locker room.
At this point, Carl Bryan Cruz had gone absolutely nuts from downtown, tallying 18 points on a 6/8 clip from 3. Both teams traded 6-0 runs in the third and ended in a stalemate, 66-68 for Chooks. But Philippines ran away again with a 9-1 run to put them up 10, 77-67.
Thailand repeatedly got within striking distance but Chooks didn’t let themselves get cooped up and flew away for good. Cruz, the PBA’s 2016 1st overall pick, didn’t mind the 3-gameday streak and went absolutely unconscious from downtown, providing 28 points on a stellar 8/11 clip from three.
Star import Isaiah Austin meanwhile continued his consistently dominant play for the Philippines, recording 27 points, 19 rebounds and 4 blocks. Kiefer Ravena also joined the 20-point party with 24 of his own.
Former San Miguel Beermen import and the tournament’s leading scorer Mike Singletary lived up to his top rank, leading the Vampire rally with a statsheet-stuffing 32 points, 10 boards, 7 assists and 2 steals.
Chooks to Go will get a much-needed one-day rest before getting back to the hardwood against Iran on Tuesday, September 26. – Rappler.com
Editor's note: A previous version of this story said incorrectly that Cruz had scored 26 points.