PBA-backed Manila bets gain Last 8 of Fiba 3×3
TWO PHILIPPINE teams got off to a hot start to advance to the quarterfinals, but the third local squad bowed out early in the 2015 Fiba 3×3 World Tour Manila Masters yesterday at Robinsons Place Manila.
Defending champion Manila West and Manila North, both bannered by PBA players, swept their elimination assignments to top their respective groups and stay in the title hunt in the tough tournament that drew some of the world’s best street cage squads.
Manila West blasted Team Auckland 21-18, before bundling out the young Manila South team, 21-14, for a 2-0 record in Pool D.
Manila North also ruled Pool B at 2-0, but not after surviving a pair of thrillers. After nipping Team Beirut, 20-18, Manila North stunned 2013 world champion Team Ljubljana of Slovenia, 17-16.
But the young Manila South crew bowed to Team Beirut, 14-21, and Manila West, 14-21, to drop out of contention in Pool D.
Quickly coming out to impress, Terrence Romeo dropped more than half of his team’s total output to power Manila West with 12 points versus Aukland.
From a slim 7-6 edge, Manila West zoomed to a 12-6 advantage with Romeo firing three in a five-point cluster.
“We still need to improve our shooting,” said Romeo, who teamed up with Rey Guevarra, KG Canaleta and Aldrech Ramos.
Romeo also pumped in eight points to pace Manila West versus Manila South, while Guevarra and Canaleta teamed up for 13.
Troy Rosario starred for Manila North with a tip-in at the buzzer that completed his team’s upset of Ljubljana.
Calvin Abueva delivered six points to lead Manila North versus Ljubljana, while Rosario and Karl Dehesa had four points each.
Earlier, it was Vic Manuel who came through for Manila North as he knocked in the two game-winning free throws with 7.1 seconds left to seal the thrilling triumph versus Beirut.
Manuel finished with eight points to pace Manila North, who pulled away early, 10-3, before Beirut rallied behind Tarek Merhabi and Ribal Bichara to knot the contest at 18.
Manila South, composed of collegiate players Joshua Sinclair, Lucky Ecarma, Jair Igna and Carlo Ortega, had a rough time against a Team Auckland squad that proved to be too strong and too big for the Cebuano teens.