MANILA, Philippines -- Mac Tallo came to the rescue as Cebu Chooks escaped Zavkhan MMC Energy, 21-19 (9:19.9), to enter the 2022 Chooks-to-Go FIBA 3x3 World Tour Manila Masters playoffs, Saturday at Ayala Malls Manila Bay.
The Philippines' top 3x3 player nailed the game-winning deuce with 40.1 seconds left, coming through in the clutch to preserve the efforts of Mike Harry Nzeusseu and Brandon Ramirez in keeping at par with the Mongolians.
Tallo finished with three points, three rebounds, and four assists in the gritty breakthrough following a tough loss to Ub Huishan NE earlier in the day.
Nzeusseu top-scored for Cebu with nine points and four rebounds. The 6-foot-7 Cameroonian was pivotal down the stretch, scoring three straight to flip a two-point deficit to a 19-18 lead for his side with 1:06 remaining.
Ramirez supplied seven points, as Zach Huang chimed in three markers in the victory that propelled them to the knockout quarterfinals.
Cebu will take on Liman Huishan NB in the next round tomorrow. The world no. 3 emerged as the top seed of Pool C after sweeping both of its games.
Batzayaa Tsermaa and Avirmed Lhagvaa finished with six points each to lead Zavkhan, who bowed out of the tilt winless. It lost to Ub earlier, 21-13 (7:07).
That win by Ub made it the first team to reach the quarters as the Serbian squad topped Pool A with a clean 2-0 card.
Liman followed suit, and then Ulaanbaatar MMC Energy after it beat Zaisan MMC Energy, 22-17 (8:45), to rule Pool C.