Austin drops 37 as Chooks-Pilipinas repeats over Thai club to finish 5th in FIBA Asia Champions Cup

ByJay King

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Isaiah Austin churned out monster numbers as Chooks-to-Go Pilipinas trounced Mono Vampire Thailand, 89-79, to finish at fifth place in the final day of the FIBA Asia Champions Cup at the Chenzhou Sports Center in China on Saturday.

Saving his best for last, the 7’1” Austin exploded for 37 points on 15-for-22 shooting from the field on top of 15 rebounds, six blocks and six assists in over 38 minutes of action in an impressive display of his potentials as a possible Gilas Pilipinas naturalized player.

Kiefer Ravena and Jett Manuel added 18 and 13 points, respectively.

It was the second time that the Filipinos defeated the Thai club, which suffered a 102- 115 loss to Chooks-to-Go in their Group A matchup last Sunday.

Chooks-to-Go thus ended its first campaign in the FIBA Asia Champions Cup with an overall record of five wins and three losses. The defeats came from the Palestinian club Sareyyet Ramallah and Petrochimi of Iran the elimination round and China Kashgar in the quarterfinals.

Mono Vampire engaged Chooks-to-Go in a furious battle in the first half, which ended with the Thai club on top, 45-43. The score was this close even though Austin already amassed 18 points in the period.

The Filipinos came out firing in the third quarter, outscoring their rivals, 24-12, to take a 66-57 lead to begin the payoff period.

Led by former San Miguel Beer import Michael Singletary, the Thai club refused to give up, igniting a 13-0 run to cut Chooks’ lead to just two, 74-72.

But the Filipinos responded with a 15-5 blast, including 12 from Austin, in the final 10 minutes of the game, to finish off the Vampires.

Singletary finished with 30 points and 12 rebounds while Fil-Am Jason Brickman added 14 points, five boards, and six assists for the Thai club, which ended at sixth place ahead of seventh place Taipei and eighth-place Dubai.

The scores:

CHOOKS-TO-GO 89 – Austin 37, Ravena 18, Manuel 13, Jose 8, Cruz 7, Teng 4, Revilla 2, Torres 0, Tamsi 0.

MONO VAMPIRE 78 – Singletary 30, Chanthachon 14, Brickman 14, Klahan 9, Apiromvilaichai 5, Sekteera 3, Phuangla 2, Samerjai 2, Sunthonsiri 0, Boonserm 0, Kruatiwa 0.

Quarterscores: 22-28, 42-45, 66-57, 89-78.