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Balanga zaps Odessa to kick off Moscow Challenger campaign

Alvin Pasaol led Balanga's quick work of Odessa. Chooks-To-Go Pilipinas
By Dugout Philippines

MOSCOW—Knowing that they are in for a long night, Alvin Pasaol and Balanga Chooks-to-Go made sure that their first game ended swiftly.

Balanga needed just five minutes and 24 seconds to dispose of a Ukraine's Odessa Basket, taking a dominant 21-9 win at Gorky Park.

With the win, Balanga officially booted out Odessa of the competition, dropping them to a 0-2 record in Qualifying Draw A of the 2019 Tinkoff Moscow Challenger.

This sets up a win-or-go-home showdown with Moscow Inanomo at 8:20 p.m. as both squads are sporting a 1-0 record. The last time Balanga and Moscow met was back in the 2019 Doha Masters that saw the Philippine-based club team take a 20-19 overtime win.

With Odessa down to just three healthy bodies as Andrii Kobets suffered a severely sprained right ankle against Moscow earlier in the night, Pasaol and the rest of Balanga took advantage of this as they tried to tire out the Ukrainians early.

Pasaol scored the first five points of Balanga while Karl Dehesa and De Chavez provided added firepower that gave their side a 12-6 lead just two minutes into the contest.

Dehesa and Pasaol would continue their rampage as the duo played the two-man game in an 8-3 flurry to send the Balanga to match point with 5:02 still on the clock.

With 4:36 remaining, Dehesa went for a hard drive to seal the deal for Balanga.

Pasaol led the way for Balanga with 10 points while Dehesa and De Chavez had five and four points, respectively.

Travis Franklin, who arrived in Moscow just 15 hours before the game, had two markers.

Andrei Navoichyk paced Moscow with five markers.

The Scores:

Balanga 21 - Pasaol 10, Dehesa 5, De Chavez 4, Franklin 2.

Odessa 9 - Navoichyk 5, Miroshnichenko 2, Tishchenko 2.

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