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Balanga pulls early 3x3 WT shocker over Riga

Alvin Pasaol and Travis Franklin celebrate after a clutch basket for the Risers. Chooks-To-Go Pilipinas
By Ivan Saldajeno

MANILA—1Bataan pulled off an early stunner in the FIBA 3x3 World Tour Doha Masters after upsetting Riga Ghetto, 19-17, on Thursday night (Philippine Time).

However, the Risers, playing under the name Balanga Chooks, needed to avert a late disaster before pulling off the shocker.

Behind the hot hands of Travis Franklin, Balanga raced to a 12-5 lead over Riga midway through the match as the former looks to pull off the 21-point knockout.

But a 9-1 blast sparked by Karlis Lasmanis put Riga ahead, 16-15.

Franklin and Alvin Pasaol connected on back-to-back baskets to put the Risers back up, 17-16, but Lasmanis answered with a basket of his own to force a 17-all tie with 50 seconds to play.

Franklin scored the winning basket for Balanga with a right-handed layup with 16 seconds to play.

Riga had a chance to force overtime or even steal the win, but Agnis Cavars was whistled for an offensive foul.

Karl Dehesa kept the door open for the Ghetto as he only made a split from the line, but Lasmanis and Nauris Miezis settled for tough deuces that went off the mark.

Franklin finished with 14 points for Balanga, which will face Moscow later Thursday.

Lasmanis had eight markers of his own for Riga.

The Scores:

Balanga Chooks 19 - Franklin 14, Pasaol 4, Dehesa 1, Santillan 0.

Riga Ghetto 17 - Lasmanis 8, Miezis 4, Cavars 4, Streinieks 1.

Follow him on Twitter: @IvanSaldajeno