Altamirano: "We belong here in the World Tour"

Altamirano: "We belong here in the World Tour"

Pasig barged into the Top 5. Chooks-To-Go Pilipinas (file photo)

By Ivan Saldajeno

MANILA—Despite both teams bowing out in the quarterfinals of the Doha Masters, Coach Eric Altamirano believes both Pasig and Balanga proved that they can compete in the FIBA 3x3 World Tour.

"We made a statement that we belong here in the World Tour," he said in a statement.

As a proof, the two teams that eventually made the final early Saturday (Philippine Time), Riga and Liman, fell to the Filipino sides in the pool stages.

The Ghetto fell prey to the Risers, 17-19.

[Related Story: Balanga pulls early 3x3 WT shocker over Riga]

On the other hand, Liman, which came in as the number one 3x3 club in the world, ended up at the wrong end of a Pasig upset, 16-19.

[Related Story: Pasig caps PHI domination with upset of world no. 1 Liman]

Both Riga and Liman got their acts together in the playoffs and ousted Pasig and Balanga respectively.

"Seeing the level of play here and knowing that we can keep up with the world's best, it will definitely make our players hungrier to get back in the next legs of the World Tour," Altamirano, the commissioner of the Chooks-To-Go Pilipinas 3x3, further said.

Pasig and Balanga ended up in joint fifth at the end of the two-day event, but due to a higher total points, the former took the tiebreaker and walked home US$5,000 (PHP258,400) richer.

Only the top five teams got cash prizes.

Riga eventually defied the odds and defeated Liman, 15-14, in the final to take home US$30,000 (about PHP1.55 million).

Follow him on Twitter: @IvanSaldajeno

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