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Chooks-PH rallies to beat Astana

Game Today
(Chenzhou Sports Center, China)
2:30 p.m. – Chooks To Go vs Mono Vampire

Chooks To Go Pilipinas rallied from an 11-point second quarter deficit and stunned Kazakhstan’s BC Astana, 73-65, to jumpstart its title campaign in the FIBA Asia Champions Cup at the Chenzhou Sports Center in Chenzhou, China.

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Naturalization candidate Isaiah Austin made a good impression in his first game representing the Philippines in a FIBA-sanctioned competition while Kiefer Ravena was one of the main reasons for the comeback in the second half to give Chooks To Go a promising outlook in the tourney.

PBA players LA Revilla and Norbert Torres, amateur Jett Manuel and free agent Jeric Teng also did their parts in the victory which came after BC Astana led 36-25 in the second and 43-35 at the half.

Austin had 17 points, 18 rebounds and six blocks, providing inside presence on both ends much to the delight of PH coach Chot Reyes, who is eyeing the former Baylor University star to become Gilas Pilipinas’ next naturalized player.

Ravena led all scorers with 22 points, making nine in the third that saw Chooks To Go take the lead for good.

Torres gave PH a 65-57 lead with less than five minutes remaining, but Astana drained back-to-back threes to trim the margin to two.

Revilla, though, made perhaps the biggest sequence of the game when he stole the ball from Rustam Murzagaliyev, faked once before converting a layup for a 68-63 Chooks lead entering the final two minutes.

A turnaround shot by Austin extended the lead to seven, 60-53, 1:51 remaining.

BC Astana was so disappointed with the loss that its import Justin Carter ranted on Twitter that they lost to the “sorriest team I ever played against,” causing uproar on Twitter.