Manila Chooks moved on to the FIBA 3x3 World Tour Cebu Masters quarterfinals after stunning Futian, 21-17, in the last set of matches in the pool stages at the SM Seaside City Activity Center on Saturday night. In a grind-out Pool C game that even saw both teams reach the double bonus penalty, hometown hero Mac Tallo's deuce sealed the deal for Manila as the team staved off one final push from Futian. Playing a physical brand of play even during its game against Vienna earlier Saturday, Manila made life tough for Futian as the Filipino side took an 18-13 lead with 2:15 left. Futian rallied back with a 4-1 run within the next 27 seconds, but Tallo's pick-and-pop two with 1:38 left shut down Futian for good as Manila Chooks bounced back from a 14-20 loss to Vienna in their first game. 'Siyempre ginawa namin ang lahat. Ang mentality namin mula kaninang umaga mag-cramps na tayo, kahit ma-injure tayo ibuhos na natin lahat kasi I think it's been a year na hindi kami nakapasok ng Day 2 ng mga tournaments. At ito na iyon. Finally, nakapasok na kami (Of course, we did everything we could. Our mentality since earlier in the morning is even if we suffer cramps or injuries because I think it's been a year that we couldn't qualify for Day 2 in tournaments. And this is it. Finally, we made it),' said Tallo, who finished with nine points. He is referring to the fact that Manila Chooks has yet to qualify for the knockout stages for the past 15 months. Tallo's game point turned out to be his only made shot from 22 feet out the entire game as he scored much of his points on layups and free throws. Marcus Hammonds added five points, Tosh Sesay made four, and Q Letcher-Ellis put up three for Manila, which will take on Ub in Sunday's quarterfinals. 'Hopefully, iyong momentum namin sa last game, madala namin bukas (Hopefully, our momentum from the last could be carried over tomorrow),' Tallo added. However, Lubao MCFASolver missed out on a quarterfinal spot after dropping both its main draw matches. Lubao fell prey to Miami, 15-22, and Ulaanbaatar MMC Energy, 17-21, in Pool D action. Lubao needed to win the qualifying draw, beating Taichung Hong Jia, 19-10, and Auckland, 17-11, to qualify for the main draw. Despite the early exit, Lubao, formerly known as Quezon City Wilcon Depot, earned the distinction of being the first team from the PBA 3x3 to enter the main tournament of a FIBA 3x3 World Tour event. The other quarterfinal pairings see, Ulaanbaatar colliding with Amsterdam HiPro, Paris battling San Juan, and Vienna taking on Wuxi.
Source: Philippines News Agency