CEBU CITY, Philippines – It’s the end of the road for the two Philippines teams as they went off in separate fashion following their respective losses in Day 1 of the 2022 Chooks-to-Go FIBA 3×3 World Tour Cebu Masters at the Mountain View lobby of SM Seaside on Saturday.
Cebu Chooks bade goodbye after losing 21-14 to the hot-shooting Omaha 3Ball of the USA in its final elimination phase assignment in Pool A. Manila Chooks on the other hand, failed to join Cebu Chooks in the Main Draw after a frustrating defeat to the hands of Doha QSC of Qatar 21-16 in the Qualifying Draw games prior to the formal start of the competition.
Cebu Chooks loss came as shocker as they fought toe-to-toe with the top seed Antwerp of Belgium before losing 16-11 to the world no. 3 team.
There was a moment when Cebu Chooks were in control of the game, but the experience and better game execution proved to be the strongest threat of Antwerp who managed to break the hearts of the Cebuano fans who were rooting for the hometown boys.
The resiliency of Cebu Chooks was evident as they managed to keep Antwerp from making its outside shots and showing they can make a comeback at any given moment.
It was at final 2:02 of the game when the Belgians were up by four 13-9 when Cebu Chooks gave a scare to the opponents.
Mike Harry Nzeusseu scored back-to-back baskets to pull Cebu Chooks within 11-13 with 1:14 left to play. Cebu had the chance to tie the game with Macmac Tallo making 2 attempts at the 2-point area and Brandon Ramirez had one, but they missed their attempts and Antwerp scored the final three points down low.
Bryan De Valck scored the game high 9 points with Dennis Donkor contributing four and Thibaut Vervoort finished with 2 points for Antwerp. Tallo and Nzeusseu had six points each and Ramirez made one point for Cebu Chooks.
Nearly five hours later, the hometown bets fell prey to the Americans’ pinpoint accuracy from two-point distance, so much that they trailed by as much as seven points with less than four minutes to go. Omaha 3Ball’s 21-14 victory was their ticket to the quarterfinal round that will start at 4PM today (Sunday).
Omaha lost to Antwerp 19-14 earlier, making the match as a make-or-break game for both teams
Meanwhile, Manila was in a prime position to make the Main Draw after scoring a 21-17 win against the Ludhiana INDBL of India in the opening game of the Qualifying Draw. However, they lost to Qatar’s Doha QSC 21-16 on its second assignment.
Since only one slot is available Doha QSC who earlier defeated Ludhiana 17-15 before facing Manila, did get the ticket to the Main Draw.
The Quarter Final Draw will start at 4PM today with Antwerp playing Saitama Alphas of Japan, the reigning Chooks-to-Go Pilipinas 3×3 International Quest champions.
Followed by Mongolia’s Ulaanbaatar MMC Energy vs. Utsunomiya Brex-Japan in an all-Asian affair.
Tokyo Olympics Gold medal winner Team Riga of Latvia will then face a familiar opponent Lausanne of Switzerland and Omaha 3Ball will play Amsterdam HIPRO of The Netherlands for the final semi-final slot.
The champions will take home USD $40,000 and the runner-up will settle for USD $30,000. RCM