Tokyo Dime.exe came into the Philippines and conquered the Chooks-to-Go 3×3 Asia Pacific Superquest after stunning 1Bataan, 22-20, in a thriller last Sunday at the SM Megamall Fashion Hall.
“Good fight. It was a physical game, a tough game and I like it. Filipino guys are very tough,” said Tokyo Dime’s Tomoyo Ochiai, Japan’s top-ranked 3×3 player.
Masahiro Komatsu drained the game winning two-pointer over the outstretched arms of Santi Santillan with 33 seconds to spare, to finish off the Risers who earlier looked moments away from taking the championship.
Bataan, who led by as many as five in the game, was just one point away from winning the whole thing after Alvin Pasaol’s short stab gave them a 20-18 lead with a minute and 20 seconds remaining.
A quick basket by Japan and a critical technical foul for delay of game proved to be Bataan’s bane as Tokyo managed to tie the game at 20, setting the stage for Komatsu’s heroics.
“Siyempre pagsisi,” lamented Santi Santillan, who was the one who cost the delay and missed the potential championship-clinching shot. “Down ako kasi parang ako yung dahilan kung bakit natalo pero nandiyan yung mga teammates ko. Baging positive mga sinasabi nila sa akin.”
World no. 97 Ochiai led Tokyo with six points as Petar Pernuovic chipped in five for the champions who will be taking on USD 50,000 and punching tickets to both the 2019 FIBA 3×3 World Tour Masters in Doha, Qatar from April 18-19 and FIBA 3X3 Challenger Penang on May 12 to 13.
Pasaol led the Risers with seven points as Travis Franklin added six for the runners up who’ll be going home with 15,000 USD, and a ticket to Doha as well.
Tokyo Dime, the 19th-ranked team in the world, denied an All-Filipino finale after eking out a 16-11 win over the Pasig Grindhouse Kings.
Pasig, who already qualified to the World Tour Masters Doha by winning the President’s Cup, will also compete in the Kunshan Challengers from May 18 to 19 because of their third-place finish. The Kings also brought home US$ 7,000.
Jakarta West, who 1Bataan defeated in the semis 21-18, pocketed USD 4,000 and will also head to Kunshan.
Ulaanbaatar, Aotearoa, SSLC, and TSV Reading Cinemas went home with US$ 1,000 for finishing in the top eight.
Tokyo Dime (22) — Ochiai 6, Perunovic 6, Komatsu 5, Suzuki 5,
1Bataan (20) — Pasaol 7, Franklin 5, Santillan 5, Dehesa 3.