MANILA, Philippines – Pasig Chooks capped the Philippines’ sensational Day 1 run in the FIBA 3x3 World Tour by completing a massive upset of world No. 1 Liman, 19-16, in Qatar on Thursday, April 18 (Friday, April 19, Manila time).
With the win, Pasig Chooks swept Pool A of the 2019 Doha Masters as the 2019 Chooks-to-Go Pilipinas President's Cup champions blasted host Katara earlier in the day, 21-14.
Pasig marches on to the quarterfinals along with compatriots Balanga Chooks, who also swept Pool C after an emphatic 20-19 overtime win against Moscow Inanomo Russia. (READ: Balanga Chooks shocks world No. 3 Latvia in 3x3 World Tour return)
And it was Fil-Am star Taylor Statham and Serbian import Nikola Pavlovic who dug deep against Liman.
With the game knotted at 14-all, Pavlovic, who played with Novi Sad AlWahda two years ago, knocked down a long deuce over the outstretched arms of Mihailo Vasic with 1:04 left. Joshua Munzon followed it up with an acrobatic lay-in to give Pasig a 17-14 cushion.
Angelo Tsagarakis though fouled Stefan Kojic that resulted to two free throws to cut the lead to just a solitary point. Statham though did not allow Liman to get any closer, scoring back-to-back baskets to lift Pasig to victory.
The 6-foot-6 Statham, who is the country's No. 2 3x3 player, powered Pasig with 9 points to jack up his total to 18 for the day.
Munzon and Pavlovic added 4 markers each while Tsagarakis added 2 points.
"I am very happy in the way our team took care of business today. Beating the No. 1 team in the world is a great accomplishment but we are nowhere near satisfied," said Statham.
Alvin Pasaol making the Philippines proud with that @Tissot buzzer beater! #3x3WT pic.twitter.com/LtCaCzsewU — FIBA3x3 (@FIBA3x3) April 18, 2019
Though Liman does not have the No. 2 player in the world Stefan Stojacic for the entire tournament, they still have No. 3 Aleksandar Ratkov, No. 4 Vasic, and No. 7 Kojic in their arsenal.
Vasic led the Liman with 6 markers.
Pasig squares off against Riga Ghetto to open the quarterfinals stage of this two-day tournament at 9:45 pm on Friday, April 19, Philippine time. Balanga, on the other hand, takes on Liman at 11:15 pm.
In the other brackets, Piran faces Chooks-to-Go 3x3 Asia Pacific Super Quest champion Tokyo Dime while Novi Sad is pitted against Ljubljana.
Also competing on Friday is Filipino dunk artist David Carlos as he will figure in a three-way Dunk Contest against Vadim ‘Miller’ Poddubchenko of Ukraine and Joel Henry of Great Britain.
Pasig Chooks 19 – Statham 9, Munzon 4, Pavlovic 4, Tsagarakis 2.
Liman 16 – Ratkov 6, Vasic 5, Kojic 3, Kovacevic 2.