MANILA, Philippines – Travis Franklin and Balanga Chooks did not back down against world No. 3 Riga Ghetto of Latvia, scoring a 19-17 upset to open Pool C action in the 2019 FIBA 3x3 World Tour Masters on Thursday, April 18 at the Katara Amphitheatre in Doha, Qatar.
American reinforcement Franklin came through for Balanga, finishing with 14 points. And the 6-foot-6 native of Baton Rouge, Louisiana fought off the sizzling desert heat in the clutch to lift Balanga to a 1-0 record.
With the game knotted at 17-all with 16 seconds remaining, Franklin powered his way to the paint for a tough, right-handed lay-in.
Karl Dehesa was then able to draw an offensive foul against Agnis Cavars. Dehesa then split his free throws to give Balanga a two-point edge.
Karlis Lasmanis and Nauris Miezis went for broke, going for wild two-balls but missed to seal the upset.
Franklin scored Balanga's first 10 points that helped Balanga gain a 12-5 cushion early.
Lasmanis powered Riga's 9-1 surge that gave the Latvians a 16-15 edge. Alvin Pasaol and Franklin stopped the bleeding but Lasmanis was able to knot things up with 50 ticks remaining.
Lasmanis paced Riga with 8 points.
Pasaol added 4 points for Balanga.
Balanga will have a short break before facing Russia's Moscow Inanomo at 11:35 pm (Manila Time).
Balanga Chooks 19 – Franklin 14, Pasaol 4, Dehesa 1, Santillan 0.
Riga Ghetto 17 - Lasmanis 8, Miezis 4, Cavars 4, Streinieks 1.