Fyr Fyter Bacolod took the second leg of the Chooks-to-Go 3x3 Magiting Cup presented by Coca-Cola Friday afternoon at the SM Fairview Activity Center.
Adrian Celada came through in the clutch for Bacolod as he scored five of the last six points to help his squad emerge as the comeback victors, 21-19 (1:55), over Mindoro Tamaraws 7A.
The quartet of Louie Medalla, Mark dela Cruz, Celada, and Mark Yee also took home the 100,000-peso prize and 100 points in the rankings.
Down two, Celada drilled a two-pointer that would knot the game at 17-all. Yee then scored an undergoal stab to take an 18-17 advantage. The swingman then proceeded to hit another deuce that would create a 20-17 cushion with 2:29 left.
Rodel Vaygan made things more interesting with a contested two to come within one, 20-19, but Celada shone through once again and drove for the game-winning basket.
Bacolod had ousted last leg's finalists Basilan in the semis, 21-16 (21.7). The team had built a seven-point lead, 20-13, with 1:02 remaining but their opponents scored three straight to cut the lead to four. Medalla then proceeded to put in the game-winning layup at the 21.7-second mark.
In the other semifinals matchup, Mindoro downed Pateros 21-13 (3:45). It was rather quick for the Tamaraws, who built a 19-10 advantage following a three-point play by Vaygan. The sharpshooter then opted to drive to obtain match point. Joshua Saret then hit the game-winning field goal to send them to the finals.
David Carlos took home the Chooks-to-Go Harissa Roast Slam Dunk Contest crown while Pateros' James Martinez was hailed as the most accurate outside gunner in the Harissa Roast Two-Point Shootout.
"We're very happy and excited since this is the first time we won a leg," said Celada. "We didn't have a chance to do that last leg. People now look up to us, because we used to the looking last time."
Next week will see the continuation of the Magiting Cup, with the third leg to be held on Tuesday, September 10, at SM City BF in Parañaque.
Two of the teams that will participate in the Chooks-to-Go Manila Challenger in the same venue this weekend took a rest.
World no. 27 Pasig and Balanga took the day off before hostilities commence in the first-ever Challenger-level competition hosted in the country. Also joining them are Patriot's Cup champions Isabela City Chooks, Zamboanga, and Narvacan City.
Chooks-to-Go Pilipinas 3x3 league owner and Bounty Agro Ventures, Inc. general manager Ronald Mascariñas hopes that the tournament will further boost the country's chances of a slot in the inaugural Olympic 3x3 tournament next year in Tokyo.
"We are celebrating our 22nd anniversary and what better way for our company to give back than by making one last push for the 2020 Tokyo Olympics," said Mascariñas. "We want to bring a quality tournament to the Filipino people."
The world's top 24 teams will only be taken but the Philippines is inching ever-closer, ranked 27th in the world with 6,748,080 points and has until October 31 to crack the to 24.