GAB Banal fired in a season-high 15 points to carry Nueva Ecija past Pagadian, 21-11, at the start of the third leg of the 2020 Chooks-to-Go Pilipinas 3x3 President's Cup powered by TM on Sunday, October 25, 2020, at the INSPIRE Academy in Laguna.
Banal, the ninth-ranked 3x3 basketball player in the country, was unstoppable as he connected on six two-pointers to help Nueva Ecija get its title campaign off to a fantastic start after falling short in the second leg.
"Wala naman masyadong pressure. Slow start kami e so I had to step up. Yun lang motivation ko kanina," said Banal as the Rice Vanguards were behind 7-4 early in the Pool B contest.
Top-ranked teams Family's Brand Sardines-Zamboanga City Chooks and Uling Roasters-Butuan also opened their respective campaigns in the third leg with convincing wins.
Joshua Munzon and Alvin Pasaol took turns in walloping Bicol-Paxful 3x3 pro, 22-11 in Pool C. Munzon had nine points while Pasaol added eight markers.
Meanwhile, veteran Chico Lanete continued to wow for Uling Roasters-Butuan City, leading the squad to a 22-13 victory over Palayan City in Pool D.
Lanete, who converted the first four-point play of the tournament, had six markers as JR Alabanza, Chris De Chavez and Franky Johnson all had a hand as well in the win.
Sarangani took down Big Boss Cement-Porac MSC to open Pool A, 21-15. Pamboy Raymundo had seven points in the contest.
Eight more elimination round games and the knockout playoffs that has P100,000 waiting for the victors are still taking place as of this writing.