Cebu Chooks! falls short vs Princeton in FIBA 3x3 Penang

·2 min read

The Cebu Chooks! failed to keep its momentum down the stretch, as it fell against the USA’s top squad, Princeton, 22-17, in the quarterfinals of the 2022 FIBA 3x3 Penang Challenger, 22-17 on Sunday at Queensbay Mall in Malaysia.

It was a bitter pill to swallow, especially for the country’s top 3x3 player, Macmac Tallo, who scored 14 of his team’s 17-point output. But it was all for naught.

“Sayang sobra kasi hindi namin natuloy yung simula namin. Pero proud pa rin ako sa pinakita namin kasi alam naman natin na yung Princeton, number nine 'yan sa buong mundo. Pero sa totoo lang, kaya natin sila e," said Tallo, who averaged 9.7 points in this level nine tournament that served as a qualifier for the FIBA 3x3 Paris Masters which takes place from October 7-8.

Behind Tallo and Brandon Ramirez, Cebu got off to a fast 5-0 lead and, later on, a 7-2 advantage.

But Princeton used its brute as they relied on the duo of Kareem Maddox and Damon Huffman to eventually gain a 10-7 lead midway through the do-or-die clash. It was a nip-and-tuck affair from there as the two teams exchanged baskets.

With the game tied at 16-all, Canyon Barry and Maddox found their way inside for a two-point cushion. Ramirez tried to will Cebu back in the game but a Vince Tolentino foul—Cebu's eighth of the game—with 2:57 left sent Maddox to the stripe for two free throws. USA's second-best 3x3 player calmly sank the two freebies to send his side to matchpoint.

A miss from Tallo from deep led to a wide-open Barry deuce to seal their downtown with NY Harlem later in the day.

Barry led Princeton with nine points built on three deuces while Maddox added seven points and four rebounds.

In Pool play, Cebu went 1-1, defeating archrival Zavkhan of Mongolia, 18-15, before bowing to mighty Serbian squad Liman, 21-9.

Up next for Cebu Chooks! is the Chooks-to-Go Pilipinas 3x3 International Standalone Quest on Friday at Ayala Malls Solenad. The one-day tournament will serve as a qualifier for the Cebu Masters on October 1-2 at SM Seaside.