Not leaving anything to chance, Taylor Statham and the Pasig Grindhouse Kings survived a very physical and highly emotional contest against the San Juan Knights-Go for Gold, 19-18, in the semifinals of the Chooks-to-Go Pilipinas 3x3 President's Cup at the SM Fairview activity center.
It was an all-important victory for Pasig as the win booked their ticket to the 2019 FIBA 3X3 World Tour Masters in Doha from April 18 to 19, 2019.
"I came here for one reason and one reason only, and that is to play 3x3 and represent the Philippines. I want to be part of the team that goes to the World Tour. I want to make my grandma proud, my family from Iloilo proud," shared an emotional Statham.
"There's a lot riding on it for me and it's bigger than basketball," he expressed.
With the game knotted at 12-all, Mac Cardona fouled Troy Rike. It was San Juan's seventh foul that led to two free throws.
Cardona was able to get one back but Statham converted on an and-two to extend Pasig's cushion to four with 1:44 left.
Though Cardona and John Wilson tried to will the Knights back, Statham was able to power his way to the paint with 35 seconds left that proved to be the dagger.
Pasig, who fielded the quartet of Statham, Rike, Joshua Munzon, and Leo De Vera, advanced to the semis after taking a dominant 21-9 win over the Zamboanga Valientes MLV.
Though the Finals that has PHP 1,000,000 at stake still going to be played, Pasig could no longer go to as low as 440 points -- 15 points higher than the maximum points second-placed 1Bataan Risers can notch.
Additionally, Pasig and 1Bataan will be the Philippine representatives in the 2019 Chooks-to-Go 3x3 Asia Pacific Super Quest. The regional 3x3 tourney will be held from April 6 to 7 at the SM Megamall Fashion Hall.
The Super Quest will have an additional two tickets to the 2019 FIBA 3x3 World Tour Doha at stake.