THE Manila Chooks TM faltered in the endgame against Edmonton, losing 16-21, to bow out of the 2021 Fiba 3x3 Montreal Masters on Sunday at the Place des Festivals in Canada.
The loss gave the Manila-based team an early exit from the competition as they finished in 10th place, finishing without a win in two outings. They started the tournament with a humbling 9-21 loss to no.8 ranked Antwerp earlier in the day. However, they were more competitive in the match against Edmonton with Cebuano guard Mac Tallo scoring on booming two-pointers and fearless drives to help them keep in step with their much taller opponents.
Fouls, though, kept Manila Chooks TM from getting past their opponents in crunchtime. After a Ross Bekkering bucket shattered the deadlock, Zach Huang committed Manila Chooks TM's seventh foul that put Steve Sir to the stripe for two. The former World Cup shootout champ, who was playing in his last Masters tournament, calmly knocked down the two freebies with ease, before Alex Johnson converted the game-winner with 2:53 left.
Tallo, a former two-time MVP of the Cebu Schools Athletic Foundation Inc. (Cesafi) had a game-high 11 points.
Manila Chooks TM head trainer Aldin Ayo expressed his disappointment in the losses, and pinned the blame on him and the rest of the coaching staff.
"We have no excuses," said Manila Chooks TM head trainer Aldin Ayo. "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," he continued.
Dennis Santos and Mark Yee added two markers each while Huang chipped in a point.
Guard Adika Peter-McNeilly had seven points to lead Edmonton, who together with Antwerp will advance to the next round. Six-foot-eight Dutchman had six points while Sir and Johnson tallied five and three points, respectively.
In Manila Chooks TM's first game, Tallo had five points. 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. Six-foot-six Thierry Marien added eight markers as he went 6-of-6 from the field.
Antwerp is composed of Belgium's national team that finished in fourth place in the 2020 Tokyo Olympics.