Riga outlasts Antwerp to win Chooks-to-Go FIBA 3x3 World Tour Cebu Masters

Riga of Latvia claimed the title in the Chooks-to-Go FIBA 3x3 World Tour Cebu Masters with a scintillating 21-19 win over Antwerp in the finals on Sunday night at the SM Seaside City Cebu Mountain Wing.

Nauris Miezis, who was named the Most Valuable Player of the tournament, sank one big shot after another including the free-throw that gave Riga the thrilling victory. He finished with a game-high 10 points and went 6-of-8 from the field. He also shot 2-of-3 from the line.

Riga appeared to be headed towards an easy win as they led, 7-1, and 14-9, but Antwerp came alive and scored seven straight points capped off by a basket by Thibaut Vervoort for a 17-14 lead with 1:23 left in the match.

That was when Miezis flipped the switch, scoring a two-pointer, a layup, and another show from beyond the arc to push Riga in front, 19-17. Vervoort canned a free-throw to pull his side to within one, 18-19, but Miezis was relentess, scoring another bucket to Riga at the bring, 20-18.

Antwerp’s Nick Celis scored an easy layup to trim the deficit to one, 19-20, but Miezis drew a foul on the next play, gaining the chance to put an end to the match. Miezis, though, left the door ajar by missing the first free-throw but eventually shut it, swishing the second to give Riga the title and the $40,000 that came with it.

Karlis Lasmanis added six for Riga, Edgars Krumins had three while Agnis Čavars chipped in two.

Vervoort paced Antwerp with seven points.