By Denzel Gaddi

After surrendering the finals seat to Zaisan MMC Energy, 15-17, the Manila Chooks bid goodbye to their World Tour Cebu Masters dreams in the Chooks-to-Go Pilipinas 3x3 International Quest at the Ayala Malls Solenad, Friday. 

Photo Courtesy of FIBA Basketball

With the ticket on the line, Manila Chooks cruised past the group stage in a dominant fashion before a heartbreaking kneel down on powerhouse Zaisan in their semifinals clash, closing the gates to their entry for the World Tour Cebu Masters that needed an International Quest finals ticket to qualify.

Manila imposed its presence in Pool A with a 2-1 record, including a nail-biting takedown of Asia's Number One Ulaanbaatar via a 21-20 thriller capped by playing interim coach Chico Lanete’s free throw.
Manila recovered from a scoring surge from the opposition by claiming four points on the defensive end, nursing Zaisan's gap to a one-point deficit.
The Philippine representatives, although looked gassed as their foes executed quick plays after quick plays, managed to put on the defensive clamps until the Mongolian team grabbed another 12-9 lead with 3:05 minutes left.

Dennis Santos, however, managed to stop their opponent's momentum with a quick two over the contesting hands of Altangerel Batsaikhan.
Manila-based cagers were able to force a 12-12 deadlock before Ulzii-Orshikh Myagmarsuren summoned his inner James Harden with a lethal double stepback three from downtown, sealing the game with a basket underneath.
Nevertheless, it was a wire-to-wire triumph for Zaisan as they went on to clinch the victory, before absorbing defeat against Japan’s Saitama Alphas in the championship.

On the other hand, Cebu Chooks finished the Pool B group stage with a 1-2 record with their only win tallied against Butuan Chooks, who ended with a 0-3 record.

Edited by Jostle Doen Pilayre