SOUTHEAST Asian Games veterans Almond Vosotros and Lervin Flores provided the big plays down the stretch to lead the TNT Triple Giga to a 21-20 beating of Cavitex on Saturday in the 2023 Red Bull 3×3 Basketball Half Court Challenge at the Taguig Community Center Courts.
Confidence gained from competing in international meets served the Triple Giga well as they earned a slot to the world finals in Serbia, together with the Uratex cagebelles in the women’s side.
Vosotros and Flores, who were part of the Gilas 3×3 men’s squad that settled for a silver medal to Cambodia in the SEA Games, struck hard in the halfway mark of their 10-minute encounter to put their squad ahead for good.
Flores forced a 12-all deadlock with his driving shot before Vosotros struck with two deuces to push the Triple Giga ahead, 16-14.
But Cavitex stayed in the thick of the fight and forced two more ties, the last at 20-all off Tonino Gonzaga’s outside shot in the final 2:22.
Then, a drive by Vosotros in the remaining 2:11 allowed the Triple Giga to reach match point and win the contest.
“For me, its not about the winning shot, but our effort in defense and offense,” said Vosotros, who knocked in nine points in his final game.
Triple Giga joined the Uratex women’s team in making it to Serbia for the World Finals, which is slated from Sept. 16 to 17.
“As you see, it went down the wire, up to the last second, grabe ang effort nila sa offense at rebounds,” said Triple Giga coach Mau Belen.
Vosotros, Flores, and their teammates Gryann Mendoza, and Ping Exciminiano earlier put TNT Triple Giga in the finals after they won over FILA in the semifinals, 22-15.
They made it past the quarterfinals after prevailing over EGS, 22-17.
In the women’s final, SEA Games silver medallist Kaye Pingol shot eight points for Uratex cagebelles in their 16-13 stopping of FILA, 16-13,
Pingol’s big games proved to be some sort of an upset as her Gilas women’s teammates Clare Castro, and Nicole De Los Reyes, and Raiza Palmera-Dy suited up for FILA with Hazel Yam.
“Masaya kami. We have waited all this time to have a shot at the finals,” said Uratex coach Kat Quimpo.