No. 2 seed Uling Roasters-Butuan City's backs were pressed against the wall, but still found a way through Bacolod-Master Sardines, 16-15, in a competitive quarterfinals affair of the 2020 Chooks-to-Go Pilipinas 3x3 President's Cup powered by TM on Friday, October 30 at the Inspire Sports Academy here in Calamba.
Neither team was giving an inch and they were all tied up at 11 inside the last two minutes until Butuan’s Chris de Chavez fished a foul from Bacolod’s Robin Roño.
That foul put Bacolod in the penalty and sent De Chavez to the line where he went 2-of-2.
After a defensive stop, Franky Johnson then increased the Butuan lead to 15-11 with a longball.
Master Sardines didn't quit with Alfred Batino and Roño scoring 3 unanswered baskets late, but time ran out before they could complete the comeback.
Bacolod bowed out of the Grand Finals of the Philippines' pioneering professional 3x3 league while Butuan moved on to the semifinals of the tournament still streaming on Chooks-to-Go Pilipinas Facebook and FIBA 3x3 YouTube, and airing on BEAM TV channel 31.
Karl Dehesa and JR Alabanza each fired 5 points to top the scoring column as they forged a duel with the third-ranked Nueva Ecija Rice Vanguards, who breezed past surprise qualifier Petra Cement Roxas ZN, 21-14 (6:50).
Gab Banal was on-point from the get-go and wound up with 9 points while Mac Sabellina also provided a big boost in scoring 5 of their last 6 points.
The other bracket features a matchup between top-ranked team Family's Brand Sardines-Zamboanga City Chooks and No. 4 seed Pasig-Sta. Lucia Realtors, who got through their respective quarterfinals opponents in this tournament endorsed by FIBA 3x3, sanctioned by the Samahang Basketbol ng Pilipinas, and supervised by the Games and Amusements Board.
Zamboanga City made quick work of Big Boss Cement Green Gorillas-Porac, 21-11 (8:09), behind Joshua Munzon's 12 points.
The nationals got going right out of the gates with a 12-4 run and never looked back en route to the Final Four.
After scoring 13 points in the qualifying draw, Ababou was limited to just 4 points by the hounding Zamboanga defense.
"Just executed the game plan. We just need to continue this in the next 3 games," said Munzon.
On the other hand, Pasig displayed a different side as their outside shooting proved to be the difference against Palayan City, 21-13 (7:12).
Jhaps Bautista showed the way with 7 points, all but one coming from the outside as they set up a date with a Zamboanga City side they upset back in Leg 3.
Jeckster Apinan and Cedrick Ablaza added 6 markers each.
The winners in the semis face off in the 'Million Peso Game.' – Rappler.com