Pasig campaign ends quickly as pair of comebacks fall short in Moscow
MANILA, Philippines—Things got heated between Pasig Chooks-to-Go and Latvian club Riga Ghetto in their second meeting in a span of two months,
The emotions though, got the best of Pasig as it succumbed to the world No. 3 squad, 17-21 with 2:06 left in the game, to bow out of the 2019 Fiba 3×3 Tinkoff Moscow Challenger early Saturday morning (Manila time) in Russia.
Pasig was sent into an early exit after going winless in Pool C. The Philippine side also dropped its first game, 21-14, against Belgium’s Antwerp earlier in the day.
But despite the pair of setbacks, they gave their highly-touted opponents a run for their money.
Taylor Statham and Dylan Ababou gave Pasig a strong start with a 4-0 spurt.
The battle-tested Latvians though, showed patience as the troika of Nauris Miezis, Kārlis Lasmanis, and Agnis Čavars scored nine unanswered points to put the Doha Masters winners on top.
Making things worse for Pasig was they figured in two confrontations that resulted to Statham being called for an unsportsmanlike foul and Joshua Munzon with a technical foul.
Fired up, the duo of Statham and Munzon carried Pasig on their backs.
Despite Miezis heating up from distance, Munzon used his speed to slash through the lane and slowly chip into the Riga lead.
Munzon had seven points to pace Pasig.
A dunk by Čavars sent Riga to just two points away from sealing the game but Munzon countered with a deuce. A layup by Lasmanis, however, sent Riga at match point with 3:08 left.
Ababou and Nikola Pavlovic continued to fight on, cutting the lead to just three. However, Statham was slapped with a technical foul for not properly inbounding the ball that led to a game-sealing free throw by Lasmanis.
Statham and Ababou had five and four points, respectively.
Pasig Chooks-to-Go have now lost their last four Challenger games dating back to Kunshan back in May.
Just like in Doha that saw Riga come out on top 15-21, Čavars and Miezis proved to be the bane for Pasig, scoring eight and seven points respectively.
Riga 21 – Čavars 8, Miezis 7, Lasmanis 4, Krumins 2.
Pasig 17 – Munzon 7, Statham 5, Ababou 4, Pavlovic 1.
Get the hottest sports news straight into your inbox
Subscribe to INQUIRER PLUS to get access to The Philippine Daily Inquirer & other 70+ titles, share up to 5 gadgets, listen to the news, download as early as 4am & share articles on social media. Call 896 6000.