Chooks-to-Go Pilipinas falls to Petrochimi, will face Blatche’s China Kashgar in QFs

Chooks-to-Go Pilipinas 66 – Petrochimi 87

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Chooks-to-Go Pilipinas concluded their group phase campaign in the 2017 FIBA Asia Champions Cup in China losing to Petrochimi of Iran on Tuesday.

The Philippine side kept it close after the first one and a half quarters, until Petrochimi just started to open the floodgates, taking advantage of the open court and their three-point shooting. It was a sloppy game overall for Chooks, which wounded up with a 2-2 record in Group A.

That would mean a meeting with China Kashgar, or the Xinjiang Flying Tigers, in the knockout quarter-finals. Of course, China Kashgar’s import is naturalized Filipino big man Andray Blatche.

Blatche arrived earlier and played his lone elimination round game in his club’ loss to Lebanon’s Al Riyadi. Blatche played only over nine minutes but dished out six assists.

It was only a 24-23 lead for Petrochimi in the second period as the Philippines fought hard, but a 12-2 run led by triples from import Willie Warren and Sajjad Mashayekhi broke the game wide open.

Warren exploded for 30 points including four triples and shot 8-of-9 from the free throw line. Mashayekhi added 15 markers while Benham Yakhchali chipped in 12.

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Petrochimi maintained a double-digit lead in the second half as Chooks failed to keep up with the fast-paced, pound-the-ball-in-transition game. Petrochimi had a 54-37 advantage in rebounding, enabling them to run as the Chooks offense was usually one-and-done. The gap stretched to as high as 24 points.

Chooks pulled closer in the fourth period as a three-point play by Ravena off a drive cut it down to 10. But Mashayekhi answered with a triple before the Iranian club continued to create more separation anew.

Isaiah Austin had 20 points and 12 boards to lead his squad. Ravena added 20 points as well and had five assists while shooting 50 percent from the floor and making all of his five free throw attempts.

All teams take the day off on Wednesday before resuming with quarter-finals action on Thursday.

Photos from FIBA.com

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