ALL four Manila teams gained safe passage to the quarterfinal round after earning at least a victory in their respective groups in Day One of the 2014 Fiba 3x3 World Tour Manila Masters on Saturday at the SM Megamall.
Manila North, bannered by Calvin Abueva and backstopped by Vic Manuel and Jake Pascual, finished with a 1-1 win-loss record to earn a quarterfinal seeding, joining Pool C leader Auckland in Sunday’s knockout phase.
The North squad actually rode on Abueva’s heroics in its opening game against Xianzhuang to hammer a 21-11 victory.
Ian Sangalang, Manila North’s tallest member, however, won’t be able to play in the quarterfinals against mighty Team Doha (2-0) due to a sprained right ankle he suffered in the team’s first game.
Manila West, which is led by five-time PBA Slam Dunk champion Nino Canaleta, also barged into the quarterfinals after routing Kobe, 21-9, before dropping a close 17-21 decision to Team Doha in a highly physical match that saw the 6-foot-8 Mohd Yousuf Mohammed and Terrence Romeo engage in a shoving match.
Manila South, comprised of players from Naga City, rode on pint-sized guard Joshua Ayo’s outside shooting to beat Medan, 17-13, before bowing to Team Jakarta, 12-21.
But since Medan (0-2) earlier dropped a 12-13 decision to Jakarta, Manila South managed to barge into the quarterfinals with its 1-1 record.
Meantime, Jerie Pinggoy’s sharp perimeter shooting and seven-foot center Ousseynou Karbala Gueye’s strong inside presence towed Manila East to the quarterfinals as well after beating Team Yogyakarta at the close of the preliminary round.
Manila East also finished with a 1-1 record after bowing to Pool D leader Team Surabaya, 14-13, earlier in the day.
Sunday’s quarterfinal games will pit Manila East against Jakarta at 3:45 p.m., followed by the 4:15 p.m. match up between Manila West and Auckland.
Manila North then takes on Doha at 4:45 p.m., while Manila South collides with Team Surabaya at 515 p.m.
Winners will advance to the Final Four starting at 6 p.m. with the top two finishers earning berths in the 2014 World Tour Final in Tokyo, Japan this October.