Karl Dehesa capped the most dominant outing of Wilkins Balanga Pure in this season, knocking down the game-winner to sink arch-rivals Equalivet-Pasig Kings, 21-20 (8:02), Tuesday at the SM BF Paranaque Events Center.
“It was an experimental phase for us in the first leg but we’ve been for a long time now. We’ve been developing chemistry,” said Dehesa. “But this is just the beginning. We can’t be complacent and settle as the Chooks league champions. It’s a great honor but we want to win international competitions.”
Seeing their once five-point lead turn into a 20-19 advantage for Pasig with 2:07 left, Dehesa took matters into his own hands, knocking down a clutch deuce nine seconds later to seal Balanga’s second leg in the 2019 Chooks-to-Go Pilipinas 3×3 Magiting Cup, presented by Coca-Cola.
“The shot was really set up for Chris. We wanted to get a two…Chris ended up passing it to me instead of Alvin, and I was like f–k it, I’m going to shoot it!” recalled Dehesa, who had five points in the contest.
Balanga saw contributions from all four of its players as Alvin Pasaol had seven points, Santi Santillan adding five markers, and Chris De Chavez finishing with four.
Balanga, who missed the second leg of the level-seven FIBA-endorsed tournament due to them preparing for the Manila Challenger, remained on top of the table with 260 points.
Pasig, who also missed the third leg, was led by Joshua Munzon’s 10 points. Dylan Ababou added eight markers in the finale.
The Kings rose to second place with 220 points.
The Pure dominated the leg, winning by an average margin of 7.8 points in five games. This included a 22-15 win over Uling Roasters-Gulf Bulacan in the quarters and a 21-14 triumph over second leg champions Fyr Fyter Bacolod in the semis.
Completing the top four after three legs are Phenom-Basilan Steel and Bacolod, who both have identical 210 points.
In the Chooks-to-Go Harissa Roast side-events, Basilan’s Franky Johnson took down the two-point shootout while David Carlos scored a hattrick in the slam dunk competition.
The penultimate leg of the Magiting Cup takes place on Sunday, September 15 still at the SM BF Paranaque Events Center.
Balanga (21) — Pasaol 7, Santillan 5, Dehesa 5, De Chavez 4.
Pasig (20) — Munzon 10, Ababou 8, Thompson 1, De Vera 1.