FIELDING a complete lineup, VetHealth-Delhi 3BL took down the second leg of the 2019 Chooks-to-Go Pilipinas 3×3 Patriot’s Cup presented by Coca-Cola.
Still, the world’s no. 15 squad needed a game-winner from Kiran Shastri to outlast the Phenom-Basilan Steel, 21-20 (3:36), Sunday afternoon at the SM Fairview Events Center.
“It was a hard-fought tournament. Really excited to be here,” said Shastri, the no. 62-ranked player in the world. “It was a good win for us and we’re really proud of the way we played.”
Down 19-20 with under four minutes left in the game, Shastri missed a deuce but was rebounded by big man Bikramjit Gill. Bikramjit then found a wide-open Shastri, who knocked down the game-winning deuce.
“Our opponents were great and we just tried to win,” continued Shastri, who had eight points in the game.
Fil-Am guard Franky Johnson was on fire to start the game, scoring 12 of Phenom-Basilan’s first 16 points to give his side a three-point lead with 5:13 left.
However, Bikramjit Gill and newcomer AJ Gill powered VetHealth-Delhi to a 5-0 run, giving the Indian team a two-point cushion.
Needing a bucket to stop the bleeding, import Marcus Hammonds took matters into his own hands, knotting things up with a huge deuce with 4:10 remaining.
Inderbir Gill answered right back by willing his way to the paint for a lay-in to give Delhi the advantage but Roosevelt Adams was not to be denied. The 6-foot-4 sniper knocked down a deuce with 3:57 left in the game to retake the lead for Phenom-Basilan.
This led to the heroics of Shastri.
Indian national team member AJ Gill added seven points for VetHealth-Delhi.
Besides bringing home P 100,000, VetHealth-Delhi closed in on Gold’s Gym-Pasig in the standings.
The Kings, who will miss the third leg as they will join the Poitiers Challenger in France from July 6 to 7, remain on top with 170 points. VetHealth-Delhi and Phenom-Basilan are tied at second with 160 points. Wilkins-Balanga completes the top four with 130 points.
This was the first-ever leg in league history that did not feature either Pasig or Balanga in the finals as the former lost to Basilan, 20-18, while the latter fell to Delhi, 22-15 (1:43).
In the side events, Shastri retained his Coca-Cola Two-point Shootout crown after outlasting Inoza-Gulf Bulacan’s Jan Jamon in the 25-second tiebreaker, 6-5.
On the other hand, David Carlos remained as the Coca-Cola Slam Dunk king after stamping his class over Jebb Bulawan and Kenyan dunk artist Obi Fly.
The third stop of the Patriot’s Cup takes place on Saturday, July 6, at the SM Muntinlupa Events Center.