By Peter Atencio
Mark Jayven Tallo hit a game-winning two-point outside shot in the final 40 seconds, lifting Cebu to a 21-19 triumph over Mongolia’s Zavkhan MM Energy and sending the Cebuanos to the FIBA Chooks-to-Go Quarter-Finals 2022 3×3 World Tour Manila Masters, Saturday at Ayala Malls Manila Bay.
Tallo finished with just three points for Cebu, who now prepare to meet Tokyo Olympic veterans Liman-Huijan NE of Serbia in the stage knockout group on Sunday.
” We were lucky. He got his last shot. We were a bit behind,” said coach Aldin Ayo as Cebu picked up a win and a loss to settle for second place in Pool A and join unbeaten UB Huishan of Serbia in the next phase.
Later, Chico Lanete scored two charity winners in the final 2:34 minutes to propel Manila to a 21-19 verdict over Zaisan-MMC Energy of Mongolia to finish the pool with the same slate 1-1 and reach the quarter-final with Cebu.
Zansar of Mongolia will face Manila for a semi-final seat at 5 p.m., while Cebu will meet Liman later at 5:25 p.m.
Lanete had 12 points for Cebu, while Ikhbayar Chuluunbaatar scored nine points for Zaisan.
The tally was tied at 18 all when a deep shot from Avirmed Lhagvaa put the Mongols ahead of the Cebuanos, 19-18.
Mike Harry Nzeusseu shot nine points and had nine boards for the Cebuanos, who rebounded from their 17-21 loss to Ub Huishan (Serbia).
Earlier, Tokyo Olympic veterans de Liman picked up back-to-back wins and also broke into the quarter-finals, emerging among undefeated title contenders along with UB Huishan of Serbia and Ulaanbaataar MMC Energy of Mongolia.
6’7” Serbian Mihailo Vasic, who is 8th in the world, overcame the physical challenges of his deadly encounter with Warsaw Lotto, 20-13, for victory no. 2 and a Pool D sweep.
Vasic, one of three members of the Serbian national 3×3 team, which edged Belgium for bronze at the Tokyo Olympics, led the way with 6’0” Kilijan Nebojsa with six points apiece in their encounter of 10 minutes.
“We played our best. We played with a lot of energy and focused on our defence,” Vasic said as his side posted their first triumph with a 21-16 victory over India’s Gurugram 3BL, 21-16.
Liman quickly took control of the game, after Nebojsa struck with a two-point outside shot that gave them a 4-0 lead.
They then took six points on Kilijan’s drive-thru shot with 7:08 to play.
Liman, according to Vasic, is preparing for the Cebu-Chooks, who they consider a formidable team.
The Ulaanbaatar Mongols also won a 2-0 Pool D sweep after a 22-17 win over Zaisan in their last game and a 22-11 stoppage of Manila Chooks earlier.