Wilkins-Balanga Pure were crowned kings of the Chooks-to-Go Pilipinas 3x3 Magiting Cup after a pulsating 21-19 (9:17) victory against rivals Equalivet Pasig at the SM Megamall Activity Center Friday afternoon.
Committed to helping the Philippines qualify for the Tokyo Olympics in the inaugural 3x3 tournament there, Pasaol has decided to forego applying for the PBA Draft.
"I will continue the campaign we had started to help the country qualify at 3x3 in the Olympics," said Pasaol in Filipino.
Aside from the win, Alvin Pasaol, Santi Santillan, Chris De Chavez and Karl Dehesa took home a cool 1,000,000 pesos cash prize as the overall winners of the five-leg tournament by beating Joshua Munzon, Dylan Ababou, Leo de Vera, and JR Alabanza.
In addition, Balanga punched a ticket to the Jeju Challenger in South Korea in October, while Pasig will fly to Taiwan for the Kaoshiung Challenger this weekend.
Balanga had won three legs out of a possible four, with their lone loss coming at the hands of Pasig in the Leg 4 Finals at SM BF in Paranaque last September 15.
Already at championship point, 20-19, Pasaol left defender Munzon in the dust, as the top 3x3 player in the country flew to the baseline after marginal contact, with the former UE standout drilling the wide-open layup for the win at the 1:43 mark.
The tournament MVP Pasaol ended up with 12 markers, the top overall scorer.
Balanga raced to an early lead before Pasig overtook them, 5-3. Balanga then was able to retake the lead and had a 12-8 advantage courtesy of an and-one play by Santillan.
Munzon and Ababou then proceeded back-to-back two-pointers, which knotted the game at 13-all with 4:35 remaining.
Following the tie, Pasaol scored three straight to take a 16-13 lead. Ababou then was able to swish a deuce to cut it, 16-15. Dehesa increased the lead to two, 17-15, before Alabanza scored two inside baskets to tie the game once more.
The burly Pasaol powered his way for an undergoal stab, 18-17, before the former Alab Pilipinas center tied the game once more.
With the shot clock winding down, Dehesa nailed a difficult up-and-under top of the key long bomb to put his team at championship point.
Balanga edged out Basilan in the semis, 21-18, (1:44), while Pasig defeated Bacolod in the other bracket, 21-19 (21.0).
Narvacan was awarded 10,000 pesos for the fastest win, a 21-13 (3:59) decision over Bulacan.
David Carlos won the Harissa Roast Slam Dunk Crown while Andrian Celada was crowned the Two-Point Shootout winner, beating opponents such as Gilas Pilipinas Women's Janine Pontejos.