MANILA, Philippines – The Gold's Gym-Pasig Kings remain the gold standard in Philippine 3x3 basketball.
The quartet of Taylor Statham, Joshua Munzon, Dylan Ababou, and Nikola Pavlovic ended the dream start of Phenom-Basilan Steel, picking up a 21-15 win with 2:08 to spare, in the finals of the 1st leg of the 2019 Chooks-to-Go Pilipinas 3x3 Patriot's Cup on Sunday, June 16, at SM Seaside City.
"It's great. Honestly, this is what our team needed," said Statham, after Pasig went winless in the Kunshan and Tinkoff Moscow Challengers during the off-season.
Statham was unstoppable all game long, finishing with 13 points.
With Pasig clinging to a 12-10 lead midway through the contest, Statham took charge as he went on a personal 5-2 run against Basilan. The highlight of the rally was a between-the-leg pass by Munzon to a cutting Statham.
Munzon and import Pavlovic added 4 points each for Pasig.
Basilan import Marcus Hammond paced Phenom-Basilan with 11 points as Franky Johnson, Roosevelt Adams, and Troy Rike were shut down by the swarming Pasig defense.
To make it to the finals, Pasig needed to defeat world No. 14 VetHealth-Delhi 3BL, 21-16 (3:00).
"Those are two great teams we just played. Can't make too many turnovers and mistakes," Statham said.
Pasig took home P100,000 while gaining pole position to end the first stop with 100 points.
VetHealth-Delhi, who swept Pool D that included the Zamboanga Valientes and the Tycoon-QC Ballers, played with just 3 players as Arsh Deep Singh's visa was not released on time.
Basilan, on the other hand, swept Pool C that featured the MiGuard-Vigan Wolves and hosts Max4-Birada Cebu.
Behind Fil-Am guard Franky Johnson's 11-point explosion, Phenom-Basilan stunned Alvin Pasaol and the Wilkins Balanga Pure in the semis, 21-19 (1:52).
David Carlos took the Coca-Cola Slam Dunk competition, while VetHealth-Delhi's Kiran Shastri outsniped Cebu's Mark-Gil Panerio in the finals of the Coca-Cola Two-point shootout, 14-9.
Pasig 21 – Statham 13, Munzon 4, Pavlovic 4, Ababou 0.
Basilan 15 – Hammonds 11, Johnson 2, Adams 2, Rike 0.