By REYNALD MAGALLON
Ub Huishan NE reigned supreme in the Chooks-To-Go FIBA 3×3 World Tour Manila Masters defeating Liman Huishan NE, 20-17 in an all-Serbian finale on Sunday at the Ayala Malls Manila Bay in Paranaque.
Ub showed exactly why it is currently the top ranked team in the world as it swept through the competition for its second-straight World Tour crown after ruling the Utsunomiya opener last month.
Dejan Majstrovic and Marko Brankovic provided the one-two punch combining for 17 of the team’s total output in the Finals. A huge chunk of those points came during a telling 8-1 run to take a commanding 15-8 which it never relinquished the rest of the way to bag the $40,000 top prize.
The Filipino teams, meanwhile, crashed out of the tournament as early as the quarterfinals of the knockout after bowing to their respective foes.
Manila Chooks couldn’t sustain its good start as the hometown bets yielded to Sansar MMC Energy of Mongolia, 21-17, while Cebu was totally outclassed by runner-up Liman of Serbia, 21-11.
Henry Iloka started out strong for Manila as the Filipinos pounced the ball inside the paint but lost steam down the stretch allowing the Mongolians to comeback and clinch the victory with 1:53 left in the game.
Sansar, unloaded a back-breaking 7-0 attack that gave them a 15-12 advantage after trailing 8-12 early on. Anand Ariunbold spearheaded the onslaught with back-to-back two pointers that gave them the lead for good.
Cebu, on the other hand, couldn’t find the bottom of the net as it was obviously bothered by the longer and more athletic Serbians. Liman fired on all cylinders as it left Cebu in the dust with a 10-1 start.
PH’s top 3×3 player Mac Tallo tried to provide a spark for the Filipinos but the one-two punch of Mihailo Vasic and Nebojsa Kilijan proved to be too much to bear for Cebu as they provided 15 points of Liman’s total output and close out the game with still 2:54 left in the game.