Carl Bryan Cruz waxed hot from beyond the arc to lead Chooks-to-Go Pilipinas past the Mono Vampire Basketball Club of Thailand, 115-102, in the 2017 FIBA Asia Champions Cup on Sunday afternoon in Chenzhou, China.
Cruz made eight of his 11 three-pointers to finish with 28 points, while Isaiah Austin contributed a monster double-double of 27 points and 19 rebounds, including a windmill slam in the final seconds to put the finishing touches on the victory.
Meanwhile, Kiefer Ravena had 24 points and seven assists, including the free throws to help Chooks keep Mono Vampire at bay in the final minute of the game.
With the victory, Chooks improved to 2-1 in Group A, bouncing back from a disappointing loss to Sareyyet Ramallah on Saturday. The win also assured them of entry into the quarterfinals of the club tournament.
Chooks took control early, leading 27-12 with 3:11 left in the opening frame off a lay-up by LA Revilla. But the Thai team refused to back down, with import Mike Singletary leading the way in their comeback.
They trailed by just four points, 77-81, heading into the final frame, but Chooks began pulling away anew, thanks to buckets by Ravena and Jeron Teng. Cruz then drained yet another triple with seven minutes left to play to make it a double-digit lead once more, 92-81.
An alley-oop by Austin off a Ravena pass restored a 15-point advantage, 107-92, with 2:07 left. Mono Vampire last threatened with 1:07 to go when Singletary made a lay-up, but Ravena was steady at the line in the final minute to ice the win.
Teng contributed 17 points, while Revilla had nine points, nine assists, and two steals off the bench without committing a single turnover.
One day after a cold shooting performance against the Palestine club, Chooks-to-Go found their rhythm and their range against the Thai team, making 59.42% of their field goals, including 14 of 28 three-point attempts.
Their superb shooting extended to the free throw line, where they made 19 of 20 charities.
On defense, they limited Mono Vampire to only 40% shooting, with Singletary needing 28 field goals to score 32 points.
Mono Vampire dropped to 1-2 in the competition.
Chooks takes a one-day break before returning to action on Tuesday, September 26, against Iranian club Petrochimi.
CHOOKS-TO-GO PILIPINAS 115 - Cruz 28, Austin 27, Ravena 24, Jero. Teng 17, Revilla 9, Manuel 3, Tamsi 3, Jose 2, Vosotros 2, Jeri. Teng 0, Torres 0.
MONO VAMPIRE 102 - Singletary 32, Brickman 17, Kruatiwa 17, Klahan 10, Apiromvilaichai 8, Sunthonsiri 7, Phuangla 6, Sekteera 3, Chanthachon 2, Boonyai 0.
Quarter scores: 31-22, 57-51, 81-77, 115-101.--
(For more sports coverage, visit the ABS-CBN Sports website.)