MANILA, Philippines — Mac Tallo put on the finishing touches as Cebu Chooks took down Mongolia’s Sansar MMC Energy, 17-15, in the final to capture the 2022 Chooks-to-Go FIBA 3×3 Asia Pacific Super Quest crown on Saturday evening at Ayala Malls Solenad Activity Center in Sta. Rosa Laguna.
Tallo, the country’s top-ranked 3×3 player, rose to the occasion in the final with eight points, including the two-pointer from the left corner that gave Cebu a 15-14 advantage.
The 28-year-old Cebuano nailed the dagger with 1:16 remaining as his team stopped the Mongolians until the final buzzer to complete its triumph.
Cebu and Sansar qualified to the 2022 Chooks-to-Go FIBA 3×3 World Tour Manila Masters on May 28-29 at SM Megamall.
“It feels good! We will bring this momentum in the Manila Masters. This is just 50 percent of our goal,” said Tallo.
“The team deserved this after everything they went through for the past two years,” said Chooks-to-Go Pilipinas head trainer Aldin Ayo. “But there is still more games to be won. This is just the start for the team.”
Mike Harry Nzesseu delivered seven points, while Zach Huang added two as Cebu brought home USD 10,000 by ruling the Level 8 FIBA 3×3 Tournament.
Cebu Chooks became the first Philippine team in a long while to win a gold medal in the FIBA 3×3 Pro Circuit, or since the all-pro Manila West defeated Doha to conquer the World Tour Manila Masters back in 2014.
“Coach Ayo always reminds us to take it one game at a time. And we will keep that mindset wherever we will go,” said Nzeusseu.
Cebu concluded the Asia Pacific Super Quest unbeaten with a 5-0 overall record including a 17-14 victory over Manila Chooks in an all-Filipino semifinal clash.
Enkhbaatar Onolbaatar led Sansar with nine points. Anand Ariunbold had four points, while Sukhbat Batzorig and Gansukh Avarzed added one each as they brought home USD 5,000.
Meanwhile, Aldous Torculas defeated David Carlos by a point to become the Sudan Daniel Slam Dunk champion. The young highflyer from the University of the Philippines took home P20,000 as well.
Cebu 17 – Tallo 8, Nzeusseu 7, Huang 2, Ramirez 0.
Sansar 15 – Onolbaatar 9, Ariunbold 4, Batzorig 1, Avarzed 1
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