By Adrian Stewart Co
Manila Chooks TM bowed out of contention in the 2021 FIBA 3×3 Montreal Masters after absorbing twin defeats on Sunday at the Place des Festivals in Montreal, Canada.
Negrense Mark Yee, Mark Tallo, Dennis Santos, and Zachary Huang tried their best to keep in step with their higher ranked opponents but were not enough as they finished their Pool D games with 0-2 slate.
The Aldin Ayo-mentored Philippine squad opened their campaign with a 21-9 defeat at the hands of world no. 8 ranked team Antwerp, which is composed of Belgium’s 3×3 squad during the 2020 Tokyo Olympics.
Antwerp quickly surged to a double-digit advantage with Manila Chooks TM struggling to convert from close range. The Philippine squad attempted to come close but was halted by the tight defense of their opponents.
Tallo spearheaded the offense for the Manila Chooks TM with five points, while Sagay City, Negros Occidental-native Yee and Huang finished with three markers each as Dennis Santos went scoreless.
Belgium’s top player Nick Celis, who stands at 6-foot-5, had nine points for Antwerp, going 7-of-8 from the field, while 6-foot-6 Thierry Marien added eight markers as he went 6-of-6 from the field.
In the second game, Tallo willed Manila Chooks TM with booming deuces and daredevil drives but were not enough as they suffered a 21-16 defeat at the hands of world no. 10 Edmonton.
The game was tight for both teams with the score tied at 16-all before Canada got a basket from Ross Bekkering followed by two free throws by Steve Sir and a game-winner from Alex Johnson to claim the hard earned victory.
Tallo had a game-high 11 points built on three deuces and four one-point shots, Santos and Yee added two markers each, and Huang chipped in a point for Manila Chooks TM.
Adika Peter-McNeilly had seven points to spearhead Edmonton, six-foot-eight Dutchman had six points while Sir and Johnson tallied five and three points, respectively.
“We have no excuses,” Ayo said. “Hindi lumabas ‘yung mga pinractice namin. We as coaches are accountable, lalo na ako, sa result ng campaign natin. Hindi ko napalabas ‘yung mga pinrepare natin.”/ASC, WDJ