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Bolts shock perennial champs TNT to seize PBA 3x3 throne

Olmin Leyba - Philstar.com
Bolts shock perennial champs TNT to seize PBA 3x3 throne
Meralco rose to the throne after toppling grand slam-hunting and seven-peat-seeking TNT in a hard-fought Season 3 Third Conference finale, 21-17.
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MANILA, Philippines – There's a transfer of power in the PBA 3x3.

Meralco rose to the throne after toppling grand slam-hunting and seven-peat-seeking TNT in a hard-fought Season 3 Third Conference finale, 21-17, Monday night at Ayala Malls Glorietta.

Always contending but falling short, the Bolts finally met their destiny as they outplayed the Triple Giga, their conquerors in the championship of the previous conference, in a thrilling finish, 6-2.

After Joseph Sedurifa knocked down the clinching two-ball, the Patrick Fran-coached squad took its place among the elite of the three-a-side league.

The Bolts were only the fourth team to win a conference championship after TNT, which reigned supreme in the last six tournaments, and Limitless App and Pioneer Elastoseal, which ruled the First and Second Conference, respectively, of the PBA 3x3 inaugurals back in 2021.

“Ang tagal naming hinintay ito,” said Meralco ace Jeff Manday, whose team primed up for this championship run with three leg victories in the pre-finals.

Initially, the wait seemed to take even longer as the Bolts’ head was on the chopping block in the semifinal duel with Blackwater.

The Bossing got on the hill and held a 20-17 cushion but the Bolts turned it around and got to 21 points first with a 4-0 salvo capped by Sedurifa’s clinching deuce.

“Kay Lord ito, hindi na sa amin. Noong Blackwater (semis game) pa lang, down kami ng three. Destiny siguro ito sa amin para manalo,” said Sedurifa.

Sedurifa shot 8 in the title clincher with JJ Manlangit stepping up with seven, Alfred Batino accounting for five and Manday scoring one and producing several hustle plays. The Bolts banked P750,000 after this breakthrough triumph.

TNT’s Almond Vosotros (five), Ping Exciminiano (four), Gryann Mendoza (four) and Chester Saldua (four) netted P250,000 after settling for a rare silver and failing to post a second straight season triple crown.

Cavitex joined its two sister teams from the MVP Group in the podium as it drubbed Blackwater, 22-19. The third-placed Braves earned P100,000.

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