Phenom Basilan are champions after defeating Wilkins Balanga, 21-20, in overtime Saturday to conclude the Chooks-to-Go Pilipinas 3x3 Patriot's Cup at SM Megamall.
It was a clutch corner fadeaway from Franky Johnson that catapulted Basilan past Balanga.
"Everything was just moving so fast," said Johnson. "I wasn't even thinking about that shot, but as soon as my teammate got the rebound and kicked it out to me, I was kinda, you know, just wide open a little bit so I just decided to pull it and thank God it went in. So I'm excited about that. I'm very happy."
Basilan did not only win the Grand Finals and a cash prize worth P1 million but also a ticket to the 2019 FIBA 3x3 World Tour Jeddah Masters in October.
The championship game turned out to be an instant classic as both teams traded heavy blows in the final minute of regulation. A deuce by Chris De Chavez gave Balanga an 18-16 lead with 44.2 seconds remaining but Marcus Hammond quickly answered with long bomb of his own.
Hammond put Basilan ahead, 19-18 with 18 seconds left. As time winded down, De Chavez ties the game with a tough floater.
In the extra session, Balanga was momentarily ahead thanks to a basket from Karl Dehesa. However, the late game heroics from Johnson proved to be the difference.
"It feels great. I was just like to thank all of our owners first, our mayor in Basilan, the whole province of Basilan," said Johnson. "From when we were we stated just a couple of months ago and just all the hard work we put in, I feel like we deserved it and it's a testament to all our hard work."
As runners up, Balanga gets to take home P400,000 and a seat at the 2019 FIBA 3x3 Xiong'An Challenger in China in August.
Brodie Stepens and David Carlos were named co-winners of the Coca-Cola Slam Dunk contest while Kiran Shastri continued his dominance in the Coca-Cola two-point shootout, winning a fifth consecutive time.