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Manila Chooks stumbles to Ub, San Juan stuns Riga

Mac Tallo struggled to find his form against mighty Ub. FIBA
By Ivan Saldajeno

MAKATI—Manila Chooks suffered a bad beat to open its home stand in the Chooks-to-Go FIBA 3x3 World Tour Manila Masters on Saturday at the Glorietta Activity Center.

Manila Chooks fell prey to top-seeded Ub Huishan NE, 9-21, right at the event's start.

Ub raced to a 9-0 lead before Mac Tallo broke the ice for Manila with a deuce with 7:43 left in the Pool A game.

However, Ub still scored six straight points for its largest lead at 15-2 and eventually scored the game point barely midway into the supposed 10-minute encounter.

Marko Brankovic outscored the entire Manila Chooks squad by his lonesome as he led Ub with 15 points, while Dejan Majstorovic added five and Strahinja Stojacic scored Ub's other marker.

Tallo and Tosh Sesay each scored three points to lead Manila, Dennis Santos added two, and Paul Desiderio made one.

Ub later escaped Utsonomiya's upset ax with a 21-20 win behind Brankovic's huge long tom and Stojacic's back-to-back layups which completed a comeback from 17-20 down.

Ub booked the first seat in the quarterfinals with Utsonomiya and Manila colliding later Saturday for the other quarterfinal seat in Pool A.

On the other hand, San Juan stunned Riga with a 22-20 win in Pool B action.

Antonio Ralat scored the game-winning winner with 31 seconds left in the match as the Puerto Rican side delivered the upset ax on the Latvian squad.

Ralat led San Juan with nine points, while Adrian Ocasio added six, Leandro Allende chipped in four, and Luis Cuascut made three.

Edgars Krumins and Agnis Cavars each made seven markers for Riga, while Miroslav Pasaljic added four and Wu Xingrui put up two.

Riga bounced back with a 21-17 win against Dusseldorf behind the 1-2 punch of Krumins (eight) and Cavars (six), who combined for 14 points anew.

In other pool stage openers, Amsterdam HiPro ripped Tsukuba Alborada, 22-8, and Sansar MMC Energy took down Al-Wakrah, 21-7.

Follow him on Twitter: @IvanSaldajeno

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