Cavitex rampages way to victory in PBA 3×3

CAVITEX scored its breakthrough in the Philippine Basketball Association 3×3 after toppling one heavyweight after the other on its way to the Leg 2 title in the season-opening conference Sunday at Robinsons Novaliches.

Jorey Napoles and Bong Galanza led the way as the Braves ended a long climb to the summit with a hard-earned 21-19 squeaker over three-leg winner San Miguel Beer (SMB) in the leg finale.

Napoles, who had a decorated stint with Limitless last season, knocked down the clutch floater against SMB to lift the franchise, whose previous best finish was leg runner-up in its only other final appearance since the second stop of last season’s Third Conference.

Former Gilas Pilipinas 3×3 mainstay Napoles finished with seven points to backstop Galanza’s eight in the clincher as Cavitex capped a stellar campaign that saw them take down the Leg 1 runner-up Meralco in the semifinals, 17-16, and Leg 1 third-placer Platinum Karaoke in the quarterfinals, 14-12.

Galanza, Napoles, Chester Saldua and Dominic Fajardo netted P100,000 for this maiden victory. 

San Miguel’s Ken Bono, Wendell Comboy, Jeff Manday and Fonso Gotladera, who fought back from an eight-point deficit and even had a chance to steal the win from the two-point area, settled for the P50,000 second place purse.

The Beermen and Braves set up a duel for leg honors after bringing down the Top 2 teams of last week’s kickoff stage.

SMB turned what was anticipated as a slugfest against Leg 1 winner TNT into a one-sided affair as it rolled to a 20-14 in the semifinals.

Comboy (10 points) and Bono (eight) combined for a sizzling seven two-pointers to spark the Beermen to the wire-to-wire victory touched off by a 14-4 opening.

Cavitex followed suit as it nosed out Leg 2 runner-up Meralco 3×3, 17-16, on the buzzer-beating floater of Napoles.

The Braves sustained the momentum from their gutsy 14-12 upset of Leg 3 third placer Platinum Karaoke in a quarterfinal matchup where they wiped out a four-point deficit with a 7-1 closing barrage.

TNT completed the podium finishers as it beat Meralco in the battle for third, 20-17. The Tropang Giga netted P30,000.