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Manila misses on Cebu Masters spot as Zaisan, Saitama secure qualification

Despite losing Inkhbayar Chuluunbaatar late due to cramps, Zaisan booked a ticket to Cebu thanks to a 13-point bomb from Ulzii-Orshikh Myagmursen. Chooks-to-Go Pilipinas 3x3
By Ivan Saldajeno

STA. ROSA, Laguna--There will only be one Filipino team in the FIBA 3x3 World Tour Cebu Masters as Manila Chooks missed out on making the cut after losing to Zaisan MMC Energy, 17-15, in the semifinals of the Chooks-to-Go Pilipinas 3x3 Quest on Friday night at the Ayala Malls Solenad Activity Center.

Manila fell short of a huge comeback as a late error haunted the team in its bid to join Cebu City Chooks as the Philippine representatives to the Cebu Masters from Oct. 1-2.

Down by four, Manila showed heart as Henry Iloka converted three straight layups to cut the lead to one, 16-15.

The team then forced a turnover on Zaisan to have a chance to at least tie the game especially after Inkhbayar Chuluunbaatar was stretchered out of the court due to cramps.

However, Chico Lanete, who played hero for Manila in its two wins in the pool stages, turned the ball over with a bad pass, and a free throw from Ulzii-Orshikh Myagmursen with 0.4 seconds left basically iced the game for Zaisan.

The clutch free throw capped Myagmursen's 13-point explosion for Zaisan, which will face Saitama in the US$10,000 game.

The Japanese squad knocked out world number seven Ulaanbaatar, 18-16, on a game-winning deuce by Marko Milakovic in overtime, which turned out to be his only points in the game.

Both Zaisan and Saitama, however, will be going to Cebu City as the semifinal survivors will make it to the Cebu Masters.

The Scores:

Semis 1

Zaisan 17 - Myagmarsuren 13, Nyamdorj 3, Chuluunbaatar  1, Batsaikhan 0.

Manila 15 - Iloka 10, Santos 2, Ando 2, Lanete 1. 

Semis 2

Saitama 18 - Atanasov 8, Ozawa 6, Ochiai 2, Milakovic 2.

Ulaanbaatar 16 - Enkhbat 8, Davaasambuu 7, Gotov 1 Tsogt 0.

Time: Milakovic - 2 (overtime)

Follow him on Twitter: @IvanSaldajeno

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