THE Cebu Chooks put up a gallant stand but fell short against the third-ranked team in the world, Antwerp, 15-11, in Pool A of the main draw of the Chooks-to-Go 3x3 Cebu Masters on Saturday afternoon, October 1, 2022, at the SM Seaside Cebu Mountain Wing.

Bryan De Valck led Antwerp with nine points and four rebounds as the team moved closer to securing a spot in the knockout rounds on Sunday at the same venue. Dennis Donkor added four, Thibaut Vervoort had two, while Nick Celis had just one point but nabbed eight rebounds.

Cebu Chooks got off to an excellent start and led, 6-5, after a sensational two-pointer by Macmac Tallo. But Antwerp responded with three straight from de Valck and a slam dunk by Donkor to seize a 9-6 lead.

Cebu Chooks’ last hurrah came at 11-13 after two straight buckets from Mike Harry. But Antwerp was not to be denied as de Valck sank two more baskets to secure the victory for the top-ranked team in the tournament.

Tallo, the former Cesafi Most Valuable Player who has transitioned from playing in the PBA and the MPBL to becoming the best 3x3 player in the entire country, had five points but made just 2-of-9 from beyond the arc. Harry, who previously played for the University of the Visayas, also had five.

Cebu Chooks must now win against Omaha from the United States to secure a spot in the next round. That game was still being played as of press time.

The Scores:

Pool A Game 1:

Antwerp 16 - De Valck 9, Donkor 4, Vervoort 2, Celis 1.

Cebu 11 - Tallo 5, Nzeusseu 5, Ramirez 1, Huang 0.