Manila West stuns Doha, cops FIBA 3x3 World Tour Manila Masters title
MANILA, Philippines - A day after Gilas Pilipinas bagged the bronze medal in the FIBA Asia Cup in Wuhan, China, another Philippine basketball team achieved an unlikely milestone right on its home turf.
Manila West banked on guile, guts and fed off a wildly-cheering hometown crowd in stunning fancied Doha of Qatar, 21-17, to capture the FIBA 3x3 World Tour Manila Masters crown on Sunday, July 20, at SM Megamall.
With the score deadlocked at 17-all and the Qataris on the verge of seizing the upperhand, former FEU teammates Terrence Romeo and Aldrech Ramos rose to the occasion, draining successive doubles from opposite flanks in sealing the well-earned triumph.
Now playing for Globalport in the PBA, Romeo broke the deadlock with his shot from the left flank with 44.4 seconds remaining then Ramos took a pass from KG Canaleta in wrapping up the match with a hit from right wing with time down to 7.7 seconds.
“Masarap ang feeling dahil last shot at winning basket” said Ramos, who was two years ahead of Romeo with the Tamaraws and a mainstay of NLEX, which is set to join the ranks of PBA ballclubs next season.
(It is a good feeling because it was the last shot and it turned to be the winning basket).
Together with Rey Guevarra, the quartet earned the top prize $10,000 (roughly P430,000) and will suit up for the country in the FIBA 3x3 World Tour final slated Oct. 11-12 in Tokyo, Japan after the two-day event presented by Smart and backed by Samsung and Nike.
No less than Samahang Basketbol ng Pilipinas president Manny V. Pangilinan and SM chief Hans Sy awarded the trophy and medal to the local champions.
With barely four days of practice, the Manila West cagers were likewise able to avenge their 17-21 loss in the preliminaries last Saturday to the Qataris, the reigning FIBA 3x3 world champions, who settled for the runner-up purse of $5,000 (P215,000).
They also earned a spot in the Tokyo competition.
Pangilinan, who watched the game from the VIP box, must also be pleased that three of Manila West players come from PBA squads that belong to the MVP group of companies: Canaleta (Talk ‘N Text), Guevarra (Meralco) and Ramos (NLEX). Romeo plays for Globalport.
The Manila West cagers assured themselves of a grudge rematch with the Qataris after rallying past Jakarta, 18-14, in the semifinals.
Canaleta and Guevarra worked on the inside in teaming up for 11 points for the win.
Doha just worked hard enough in dumping Surabaya, 20-15, In the other semifinal match.
It reached the semis by whipping the Calvin Abueva-led Manila North, 21-8, with a little over three minutes left in the match.
The Qataris did their damage from beyond the arc with Mohammad “Big Mo” Mohammad converting five straight two-pointers to break the game wide open 17-7 with 4:31 still to go.
Team Manila West , on the other hand, banked on the endgame heroics of Romeo in eliminating Auckland of New Zealand, 14-9, in the quarters earlier. - Rappler.com