Champion The winning Saitama 3×3 team.

Saitama rules Chooks 3×3

September 18, 2022 Robert Andaya 368 views

STA.ROSA, Laguna — A five-game sweep and a title for Saitama of Japan.

Led by Serbians Teodor Atanasov and Marko Milakovic and Tokyo Olympian Tomoya Ochiai, the newly-formed Japanese team defeated Zaisan MMC Energy of Mongolia, 20-13, to rule the 2022 Chooks-to-Go Pilipinas 3×3 International Quest at the Ayala Malls Solenad here Friday.

Saitama earned USD 10,000 while Zaisan bagged USD 5,000.

The two teams also secured the tickets for next month’s Chooks-to-Go FIBA 3×3 World Tour Cebu Masters on Oct 1-2.

Atanasov, the 6-foot-9 behemoth from Serbia, used both his size and speed against their Mongolian rivals to finish with 11 points.

Ryo Ozawa added six points.

Milakovic and Ochiai contributed two points apiece.

“I said it back in 2019 and I’ll say it again, I really love the Philippines,” said Ochiai, who was also part of the Tokyo Dime team that won the first ever Chooks-to-Go Asia Pacific Super Quest way back in 2019.

“New team, it really feels good that we were able to reach the Masters. It’s going to be exciting,” added Ochiai currently Japan’s No. 6 player.

Ulzii-Orshikh Myagmarsuren led the Mongolian’s losing efforts with six points.

Ganbaatar Nyamdorj had five.

Saitama and Zaisan will join Utsunomiya, Sansar, Antwerp, Riga, Amsterdam, Jeddah, Lausanne, Omaha, Ludhiana, and Doha in Cebu Masters.

The Saitama-Zaisan championship battle was actually a repeat of their earlier meeting.

The Japanese defeated the Mongolians, 20-11, in Pool B classification stage.

In the semis, Zaisan became the first team to reach the championship round after turning back Manila Chooks, 17-15.

Saitama followed suit after edging Ulaanbaatar MMC Energy in overtime, 18-16.

The scores:

Finals

Saitama 20 – Atanasov 11, Milakovic 4, Ozawa 3, Ochiai 2.
Zaisan 13 – Myagmarsuren 6, Nyamdorj 5, Chuluunbaatar 1, Batsaikhan 1.

Semifinals-1

Zaisan 17 – Myagmarsuren 13, Nyamdorj 3, Chuluunbaatar 1, Batsaikhan 0.
Manila 15 – Iloka 10, Santos 2, Ando 2, Lanete 1.

Semifinals-2

Saitama 18 – Atanasov 8, Ozawa 6, Ochiai 2, Milakovic 2.
Ulaanbaatar 16 – Enkhbat 8, Davaasambuu 7, Gotov 1 Tsogt 0.

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