Manila Chooks falls to Ub in Cebu Masters QF

Strahinja Stojacic soars for the slam. FIBA
By Ivan Saldajeno

CEBU CITY--Manila Chooks' stint in the FIBA 3x3 World Tour Cebu Masters came to an end right at the start of the quarterfinals after world number one Ub Huishan NE won, 21-14, on Sunday at the SM Seaside City Activity Center.

Ub quickly solved Manila's physical game and dominated the last seven minutes of the encounter in which the Serbian side outscored the home team, 17-7, after Manila led, 7-4.

Marko Brankovic scored the game point through a free throw with 1:20 remaining.

"Natalo kami dahil sa experience nila. Kaya namin silang tapatan the way na maglaro lang about basketball, pero dahil doon sa chemistry ng Ub and at the same time, yung experience nila, ang hirap talunin pag ganun," Chooks-to-Go Pilipinas 3x3 head trainer Chico Lanete said, although he lauded his players for not giving up until the end.

Strahinja Stojacic led Ub, which battles Miami in the semifinals following the Jimmer Fredette-led team's 21-17 win against San Juan, with 11 points, Dejan Majstorovic added six, Brankovic had three, and Vladimir Dordevic finished with one.

Marcus Hammonds and Q Fletcher-Ellis each made five points, while Mac Tallo and Tosh Sesay each added two for Manila.

The other semifinal will have Amsterdam HiPro, 21-15 winner against Ulaanbaatar MMC Energy, taking on Vienna, 21-17 victor versus Wuxi.

On the other hand, Tallo barely fell short of winning the two-point shootout final as Ulaanbaatar's Steve Sir showed why he is FIBA 3x3's all-time king from long range.

Tallo, who began the shootout, waxed hot and finished with 13 points, but Sir, who was the last to shoot, beat him with 15 points, scoring the last ball from the logo to clinch the victory.

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