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Manila Chooks bows out of Manila Masters after falling to Utsonomiya Brex

Dennis Santos' gallant fight fell short as Manila Chooks got the boot. FIBA/Chooks-to-Go Pilipinas 3x3
By Ivan Saldajeno

MAKATI—Manila Chooks' home stand in the Chooks-to-Go FIBA 3x3 Manila Masters came to an abrupt end after Utsonomiya Brex EXE claimed the last quarterfinal seat for Pool A with a 22-18 win on Saturday night at the Glorietta Activity Center.

Manila Chooks lost steam in the end as foul trouble spoiled Dennis Santos' midgame barrage.

Santos willed Manila's comeback after six straight points to tie the game at 11-all after Utsonomiya held a 9-5 lead.

Manila even took the lead, 14-12, with six minutes left in the fast-paced game.

However, Santos' missed technical free throw that could have given Manila the lead back after a 15-all tie became the spark for Utsonomiya to pull away even as a string of reach-in fouls put Manila in the penalty, giving the Japanese squad free throws to secure the lead.

The game was called at the 6:12 mark after Serbian import Marko Milakovic converted a left-wing deuce that doused cold water on Manila Chooks' comeback bid.

At the conclusion of the pool stages, San Juan and Riga booked their quarterfinal seats in Pool B, Amsterdam HiPro and Futian will see Day 2 action for Pool C, and Beijing and Sansar MMC Energy qualified for Pool D.

Follow him on Twitter: @IvanSaldajeno

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