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Platinum sparkles, ends title drought

Platinum Karaoke capped an amazing run in the Leg 4 playoffs of the Philippine Basketball Association 3×3 by winning its first ever championship Sunday at Robinsons Place in Malabon.

The team of coach Anton Altamirano finally broke through in the standalone tournament, beating a tough Cavitex Braves side in a low-scoring final, 13-12, to claim the P100,000 prize money.

Platinum Karaoke previously made the leg finals twice, but always end up a bridesmaid.

There was no denying the team this time as Terrence Tumalip hit a clutch deuce that made it a 13-10 Platinum lead with 52 seconds left, while big man Brandon Bates blocked a potential game-winning basket by Jorey Napoles at the buzzer to preserve the hard-earned win.

Tumalip finished with six points, Bates with four, and Nico Salva added three, while Yutien Andrada, the only player who remained from the original Platinum Karaoke team, had five rebounds and two block shots.

“So proud of this team. It’s been a long time coming,” said Altamirano, who finally got his victory ride shortly after the game.

“We’ve been waiting for this moment. It’s God’s will.”

Cavitex bagged P50,000 after a second straight runner up finish in the Second Conference Season 2.

Napoles led the Braves with six points and six rebounds, including a long two that put the Braves within a point, 13-12, in the final 44 seconds.

Cavitex even had the chance to salvage the win, but Bates was there to save the day for Platinum by foiling Napoles’ final attempt.

On the way to the finals, Platinum foiled TNT’s back-to-back title bid and a fourth straight finals appearance in the conference with a close 13-12 win in their quarterfinals duel.

“That gave us a big boost,” Salva said of Platinum’s upset of TNT.

In the semifinals, Platinum edged another former leg winner J&T, 15-13, to advance to the finals.

Cavitex earlier defeated Barangay Ginebra in the quarterfinals, 18-12, and beat Blackwater in the semis, 21-19.

The Express meanwhile, denied Blackwater Red President a first ever podium finish by hacking out a 22-20 overtime victory as Joseph Sedurifa and Robert Datu accounted for a combined 18 points for J&T.

Robin Roño hit the game-winning deuce to give the Express the P30,000 prize money for third place.

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