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Chooks-PH loses to Iran

Game Today
(Chenzhou, China)
7:30 p.m. – Chooks To Go vs Kashgar

Chooks To Go-Pilipinas was relegated to a quarterfinal match against Gilas naturalized player Andray Blatche and China Kashgar after absorbing an 87-66 loss to Iran’s Petrochimi Tuesday night in the FIBA Asia Champions Cup at the Chenzhou Sports Center in Chenzhou, China.

The Filipino cagers lost steam at crunch time, allowing the Iranian Basketball Super League champions to turn the contest into a lopsided affair while topping Group A of the preliminaries despite an identical 3-1 record with Kazakhstan’s BC Astana.

Coach Chot Reyes and his Chooks To Go squad finished third in the group to settle for a tough quarters encounter with Blatche and Kashgar, the 2016 Champions Cup winner and last season’s Chinese Basketball Association titlist.

Kashgar placed second in Group B at 3-1 behind unbeaten Al Riyadi of Lebanon, with Blatche averaging 19.6 points, 9.6 rebounds and 1.5 assists.

“That will be fun, that will be interesting,” Reyes said of the upcoming match against the many-time Gilas standout.

“Obviously, they are a much, much better team with Andray with them. They have an already formidable team already.

“They have a great import, great shooters, they have the size to match up with Zeke (Isaiah Austin) so it’s going to depend on Andray Blatche,” he added.

Austin, who is making a strong case to succeed Blatche as Gilas’ new naturalized player, had expressed his readiness to take on Blatche prior to Chooks To Go’s departure for China.

The 7-foot-1 Austin produced 19.3 points, 14.3 rebounds and 3.8 blocks in the preliminaries.

Kiefer Ravena has made himself perhaps the best local player for Chooks To Go with 22.5 points, 4.3 assists, 2.5 rebounds and 1.8 steals.