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Zamboanga City rallies back to steal Chooks 3x3 Leg 1 from Butuan

Zamboanga City reigned supreme anew in the "Calambubble". Chooks-to-Go
By Ivan Saldajeno

MANILA--Zamobanga City pulled off a huge comeback in the end to zoom past upset seeking Butuan, 21-17, in the championship game of the first leg of the Chooks-to-Go Pilipinas 3x3 President's Cup at the Inspire Sports Academy in Calamba on Wednesday night.

Zamboanga City, the heavy favorite to win it all, found itself in a tough situation after Butuan cruised to a 17-14 lead with 2:28 remaining.

However, Joshua Munzon caught fire just in time, burying a deuce to spark the deciding 7-0 run for Zamboanga City.

He finished the job by hitting a crucial free throw with 17 seconds to spare for the match point.

"It showed we can fight through adversity. We just stuck to our script. We took advantage of our advantages," Munzon, who finished with 12 points, said after the game.

Fellow national team member Alvin Pasaol added six points, while Santi Santillan put in two and Troy Rike got one for Zamboanga City, which won PHP100,000 for ruling the leg.

Karl Dehesa made six markers, Chris De Chavez and Chico Lanete each put up four, and Franky Johnson scored three for Butuan City, which despite the defeat also took home PHP100,000 for being Zamboanga City's opponent in the final.

De Chavez would take home an additional PHP10,000 for winning the two-point shootout.

Nueva Ecija, despite losing Juan Gomez De Liano in the pool stages due to an ankle injury, racked up the third spot.

Meanwhile, Jesus Manay shocked the "Calambubble" after beating David Carlos in the slam dunk contest, walking away with a PHP20,000 paycheck.

The Scores:

ZAMBOANGA CITY 21 -- Munzon 12, Pasaol 6, Santillan 2, Rike 1.

BUTUAN CITY 17 -- Dehesa 6, De Chavez 4, Lanete 4, Johnson 3.

Follow him on Twitter: @IvanSaldajeno_

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