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Braves book 3×3 QF spot

JOREY Napoles of Cavitex attacks the defense of Dennice Villamor of Pioneer during their PBA 3x3 Season 3 Second Conference game yesterday at the Ayala Mall Circuit in Makati. The Braves prevailed, 18-14, to book a seat in the quarterfinals. | PHOTOGRAPH COURTESY OF PBA

Cavitex picked up from where it left off the last time and was quick to clinch a quarterfinals berth in the Philippine Basketball Association 3×3 Season 3 Second Conference, which kicked off Monday at the Ayala Mall Circuit in Makati.

The Braves, runner-up to TNT Triple Giga during the First Conference grand finals, notched back-to-back victories over Blackwater, 22-13, and Pioneer Elastoseal, 18-14, to emerge as the top seeded team in Pool A by the end of their campaign in the Leg 1 pool play.

Former 3×3 national player Jorey Napoles showed the way in Cavitex’s win over Blackwater with nine points on 6-of-8 shooting, while Kenneth Ighalo had six points and the same number of rebounds in the victory over Pioneer.

The Bossing, meanwhile, bounced back from their loss to the Braves and dealt the Katibays a 21-8 beating, to claim the remaining quarterfinals seat in the same group.

Also joining Cavitex and Blackwater in the next round is grand slam winner TNT, which currently leads Pool B with a 2-0 slate.

Gryann Mendoza has taken the scoring chores for the Triple Giga in the absence of top gun Almond Vosotros, including a game-high 11 points in a 21-18 victory over San Miguel.

Earlier, Mendoza fired eight points to help TNT rally past guest team MCFA, 21-20.

Purefoods TJ Titans are likewise in a perfect position to advance in Tuesday’s knockout stage.

The Titans, now without former main man Joseph Erioubu, are also unscathed in two games in Pool C, winning over Barangay Ginebra by the skin of its teeth, 17-16, before turning back Terrafirma, 19-12.

The other quarterfinal berths are still being contested as of press time and early Tuesday morning at the end of pool play.

Eight teams will make up the knockout round, where the champion team gets to win a total of P100,000 prize money.

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