FIBA 3×3: Manila Chooks! gains Mongolian tilt quarterfinals
NEW addition Paul Desiderio promptly made an impact as Manila Chooks! downed Bayangol Broncos of Mongolia 21-18 Saturday night to advance to the quarterfinals of the FIBA 3×3 Ulaanbaatar Super Quest at the Royal 3×3 Lounge in Ub Palace, Mongolia.
Desiderio, a former University of the Philippines star, shone for the Filipino 3×3 cagers with seven points, while CJ Payawal also chipped in seven.
The Philippines’ No. 1 3×3 player Mac Tallo and Brandon Ramirez also had four and three points, respectively as the troops of head trainer Chico Lanete forged a Last 8 tiff with fancied world No. 9 Sansar MMC Energy of Mongolia today, Sunday, at 4:30 p.m. at the same venue.
Manila Chooks! wound up with a 1-1 mark after the group stage of the FIBA level 8 tourney that has $15,000 prize money for the champion, $10,000 for the runner-up, and $5,000 for the third placer.
Their sights now trained on hurdling a tough task, Lanete admitted he expects his players to have their hands full against a powerhouse Mongolian quartet bannered by gunner Anand Ariunbold.
The 6-foot-5 Ariunbold was named FIBA 3×3 World Tour Most Spectacular Player last year.
“We’re expecting a difficult game today especially since maglalaro si Anand (Ariunbold). Sharpshooter talaga siya and the whole team plays better kapag nasa floor siya,” Lanete said. “Kaya we need to focus on defending him better or possibly denying him the ball. We’ll make the necessary adjustments and be ready for the game.”
“In our two games, lumabas ang potential namin as a team. Pero kulang pa kasi we all know we can do better,” Tallo said. “All we have to do now is to be consistent.”
The top two teams after the tilt will also book slots to the World Tour Manila Masters next month.
Fans can watch the games live on Chooks-to-Go Pilipinas’ Facebook page and the YouTube channel of FIBA 3×3.