Mac Tallo saved Manila HeiHei from the upset ax, leading his side to a dominant 21-6 (5:19) win over the experienced Pasig Kingpin in the final of the 2021 Chooks-to-Go Pilipinas 3×3 Invitational, Wednesday at the Laus Events Centre on Wednesday night in San Fernando, Pampanga.
Tallo dropped 13 points in the contest built on five triples. He was off to a hot start, scoring seven of Manila’s first eight points to give his team an 8-1 lead.
Tallo and Chico Lanete also pulled it off on both ends as they stifled gunslinging brothers Ryan and Nikki Monteclaro. They only had a point each in the contest.
With Mike Nzeusseu hurting his left hand during their semifinals encounter with ARQ Builders-Cebu, Zach Huang stepped up in defending Toba Eugene while scoring five points.
Tallo knocked down the championship-clinching deuce with 4:41 left, marking the finals as the fastest game of the day.
That gave them an additional P10,000 on top of their P100,000 prize in the tournament endorsed by FIBA 3×3, regulated by the Games and Amusements Board and supported by TM, Wilson Basketball, Homegrown Grains and Adam Ezli.
“I’m happy that this tournament happened,” said Manila head trainer Aldin Ayo as the team is set to compete in the 2021 FIBA 3×3 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 overcame Cebu, 21-19, in the semifinals. During a rebounding scrum, Nzeusseu hurt his hand when he was battling with Landry Sanjo with 1:58 left in the contest.
“That’s a simple injury, I hope he recovers in time for Abu Dhabu,” Ayo said about his Cameroonian reinforcement. “He has a big responsibility in our team and he has to overcome that. It’s not a major injury.”
Pasig, on the other hand, made it rain on Essen Immunoboost Sarangani in the semifinals, taking a 21-15 (7:56) win.
Sarangani finished third.
David Carlos showed no rust after a one-year absence, reigning supreme in the Sudan Slam Dunk Competition. He defeated Nhomar Gonzales and 5-foot-5 wunderkind Lennon Albiso to bank P20,000.
AMACOR Mandaluyong’s Janus Lozada won the two-point shootout after making nine of his 10 attempts. He won P10,000.
Mandaluyong, Bocaue, Pacquiao Coffee Bacolod, and BRT Sumimsip Basilan rounded up the top eight.