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Manila rules Chooks-to-Go 3x3 cagefest as Tallo sparkles

Roy Luarca - Philstar.com
Manila rules Chooks-to-Go 3x3 cagefest as Tallo sparkles
With Mark Tallo at the helm, Manila routed the Pasig Kingpins, 21-6, to clinch the Php100,000 champion's purse plus Php10,000 for sealing the final in a tournament-best 5 minutes and 19 seconds.
Chooks-to-Go 3x3

SAN FERNANDO, Pampanga – What was projected to be a tight title fight for the Chooks-to-Go 3x3 Invitational turned out to be a masterclass for Hei Hei Manila Wednesday night at the Laus Group Event Centre here.

With Mark Tallo at the helm, Manila routed the Pasig Kingpins, 21-6, to clinch the Php100,000 champion's purse plus Php10,000 for sealing the final in a tournament-best 5 minutes and 19 seconds.

Tallo scored seven points as Manila surged ahead, 8-1, and accounted for the last five en route to 13 points, five coming from beyond the arc.

Using their height advantage, Tallo and Chico Lanete also scuttled hotshot brothers Ryan and Nikki Monteclaro to just one point each.

Cameroonian Mike Nzeusseu hurt his left hand during Manila's semifinals encounter against ARQ Builders-Cebu, but Zach Huang stepped up, defending Pasig's Toba Eugene while adding five points.

Tallo also drilled in the title-clinching deuce with 4:41 left, capping the one-day event endorsed by FIBA 3x3, regulated by the Games and Amusements Board, and supported by TM, Wilson Basketball, Homegrown Grains and Adam Ezli.

"Happy that this tournament happened," said Manila head trainer and national 3x3 mentor Aldin Ayo as the team is set to represent the country in the 2021 FIBA 3x3 World Tour Abu Dhabi Masters on October 29.

"I hope that they got the confidence and the rhythm. It's important that we simulate the actual situations and we can't do that in practice."

Manila thwarted Cebu, 21-19, in the semifinals, where Nzeusseu sustained the injury off a rebound scramble with Landry Sanjo.

Pasig subdued Essen Immunoboost Sarangani in the other semifinal, 21-15.

Sarangani finished third and Cebu fourth in the event graced by Chooks to Go president Ronald Mascarinas and sports and marketing head Mel Macasaquit.

AMACOR Mandaluyong's Janus Lozada converted his first 9 attempts and barely missed a perfect 10 to rule the 2-point shoot-out and pocket Php10,000.

Pro dunker David Carlos ruled the Sudan Daniel Slam Dunk Competition over Nhomar Gonzales and 5-foot-5 high-flyer Lennon Albiso to bank Php20,000.

Mandaluyong, Bocaue, Pacquiao Coffee Bacolod, and BRT Sumimsip Basilan rounded up the top eight in the 12-team event.

The scores:

Manila 21 – Tallo 13, Huang 5, Nzeusseu 2, Lanete 1.
Pasig 6 – Eugene 3, Monteclaro R. 1, Monteclaro N. 1, Belencion 1.

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