CALAMBA – Zamboanga City Family’s Brand Sardines continued its perfect run in the bubble, as the team composed of national pool standouts carved out an emphatic 22-11 win over Bicol Paxful 3×3 Pro in the Chooks-to-Go Pilipinas 3×3 President’s Cup powered by TM yesterday here.
Alvin Pasaol was in the zone as Zamboanga City remained on course of winning a third straight leg crown at the INSPIRE Sports Academy inside the National University-Laguna campus.
Focused as ever, Pasaol simply shrugged off criticisms from pundits regarding the physical play that has been the highlight of the now-pro league’s second season.
“Opinyon nila yun. Comment nila iyon. Wala akong pakialam sa kanila,” said Pasaol, who finished with eight points.
Joshua Munzon took the scoring mantle for Zamboanga City with nine points.
Unbeaten in 11 games, Zamboanga City moved to the quarterfinals after Bacolod Master Sardines ousted Bicol, 21-15, to clinch the other spot in Pool C.
Gab Banal dropped a conference-high 15 points as Nueva Ecija, still playing minus injured Juan Gomez de Liaño, hammered out a 21-11 Pool B win over MLV Pagadian Rocky Sports for a winning start.
“I have to step up,” said Banal after the Rice Vanguards overcame a 4-7 start to prevail in their opening match.
Gomez de Liaño missed the second straight leg due to a right ankle sprain the University of the Philippines star suffered in last week’s opening leg and his status remains uncertain heading into tomorrow’s penultimate leg.
Nueva Ecija later secured a spot in the knockout stages after the Zamboanga Peninsula Valientes MLV eliminated Pagadian, 21-18.
RR de Leon’s game-clinching two-pointer gave the Valientes a return trip to the quarterfinals after missing the bus in the previous leg.
Nueva Ecija later completed a sweep of its Pool B matches with a 21-12 win over the Valientes.