Gantsolmon-led Zaisan MMC Energy clam ticket to 3x3 World Tour Manila Masters after taking out Ulaanbaatar Super Quest
ULAANBAATAR (Mongolia) - A red hot Gan-Erdene Gantsolmon produced an all-time great performance to power Zaisan MMC Energy (MGL) to victory at the Ulaanbaatar Super Quest on May 6 and a ticket to the upcoming Manila Masters.
Here's what happened.
The winners: Zaisan MMC Energy (MGL)
They were: No.1 most points scored and best shooting value.
All hail 3x3's new superstar!That's right we're already head over heels for 22-year-old Gantsolmon who lit up Ulaanbaatar with an incredible 63 points! For the mathematically challenged that's an average of 12.6 ppg (in a first to 21-point game).
He's now lit up 97 points in the last week after a coming out party in Manila.
Gantsolmon must have received expert advice from new Mongolia head of player development Steve Sir, arguably 3x3's GOAT shooter, because this dude was a flame thrower from deep connecting on 26 from 48 attempts.
At just 6ft (1.84m), he's not very tall but that doesn't matter because he can score from anywhere. And even when he misses, he's able to get his own rebound and make a great dish like Gordon Ramsay.
Zaisan started with a heart-breaking 21-20 loss against Manila first up before surviving a thriller next up against Sansar MMC Energy 21-19 due to the one man highlight reel with Gantsolmon pouring in an incredible 17 points - just two shy of the all-time pro circuit record of OG Corey Campbell in 2013.
It was sweet revenge for Zaisan after they had lost to Sansar in the semis at the Asia Pacific Super Quest the week prior in Manila.
His swagger fuelled Zaisan who couldn't be stopped after that as they gained revenge on Manila in the semis - you guessed it, Gantsolmon was unstoppable with 12 points - before beating No.1 seed Ulaanbaatar in the final.
Ikhbayar Chuluunbaatar proved Zaisan wasn't a one-man band chipping in 7 valuable points but that man again Gantsolmon led the way with a team-high 9 points as they stamped themselves as a Mongolian 3x3 force.
With Gantsolmon suddenly becoming 3x3's new sensation, Zaisan MMC Energy are certainly an intriguing team on the World Tour.
And we just can't wait to see Gan-Erdene Gantsolmon, the hottest player in 3x3, back in action.
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The runners-up: Ulaanbaatar MMC Energy (MGL)
The No.1 seed and Mongolia's premier team had an impressive unbeaten run before they fell to Hurricane Gantsolmon at the last hurdle.
It was made more impressive given they were still incorporating a new major piece - Canadian legend Steve Sir.
But it was a smooth fit testament of Sir's experience and Ulaanbaatar's strong desire to make the leap this season.
They naturally have a few chemistry issues to settle on offense but impressively their defense was near faultless as they conceded just 14.6ppg for the tournament.
Mongolia's No.1 ranked player Delgernyam Davaasambuu was an absolute beast and somehow looks even stronger than the last time we saw him after a dominant performance with 40 points and a tournament leading 36 rebounds.
They fell short - though truthfully nothing was stopping Gantsolmon in that godly mode - but Ulaanbaatar can feel well encouraged with the promise of better things to come.
He's back: Yesssir! Steve Sir's decision to not call time on his glittering 3x3 career seems like a smart move.
And playing - as well as coaching - Ulaanbaatar may just rejuvenate this sniper who proved he still has the goods to finish with an average of 6.4ppg and the shooter's touch after connecting on 13 of 25 from deep.
Sir might just prove to be the missing piece for Ulaanbaatar, who looked more potent on offense.
The Final: Zaisan MMC Energy 21- Ulaanbaatar MMC Energy 17
With the two top seeds facing off, Mongolian teams to boot, the loud crowd was pumped up in a country that lives and breathes 3x3.
And they weren't disappointed with Gantsolmon going bang ,bang to get Zaisan off to a fast start.
With the apprentice firing, the master hit back with Steve Sir answering from down town in a battle royale from two gunslingers. Sir hit another to level up at 8 apiece but Gantsolmon is in one of the meanest purple patches we've seen in 3x3 and again unleashed a double punch from deep.
The experienced Ulaanbaatar weren't stressed yet and went to a reliable source in Davaasambuu down low and they appeared to be getting the game on their terms.
Showing he might actually be human, Gantsolmon started tiring but up stepped his right hand man Chuluunbaatar, who wanted some of the attention.
Leading narrowly 17-16, with buckets for both teams proving easy, Chuluunbaatar took matters into his own hands with two huge twos, including the title winner from the logo which had the fans jumping out of their seats.
The final lived up to top billing and might just be the start of a memorable rivalry between the compatriots.
The reward: Two tickets to Manila Masters
Zaisan MMC Energy and Zavkhan MMC Energy qualified for the Manila Masters on May 28-29, 2022.
With Ulaanbaatar MMC Energy having qualified, third placed Zavkhan clinched a ticket and join Ub Huishan NE (SRB), Antwerp (BEL), Liman Huishan NE (SRB), Warsaw Lotto (POL), Sansar MMC Energy (MGL) in the field.
1. Zaisan MMC Energy (MGL)
2. Ulaanbaatar MMC Energy (MGL)
3. Zavkhan MMC Energy (MGL)
4. Manila Chooks (PHI)
5. Yokohama Beefman (JPN)
1. Gan-Erdene Gantsolmon (Zaisan, MGL) 63 pts
2. Delgernyam Davaasambuu (Ulaanbaatar, MGL) 40 pts
3. Henry Iloka (Manila, PHI) 33 pts
4. Steve Sir (Ulaanbaatar, MGL) 32 pts
5. Enkhsaikhan Bayarsaikhan (Zavkhan, MGL) 31 pts
- Two of the top four seeds were winless with Sansar MMC Energy and Amgalan MMC Energy bowing out early.
- Zaisan MMC Energy were walking buckets all tournament and only failed to reach 21 points in their opener against Manila when they scored 20. They also finished No.1 in shooting value (17) largely thanks to Gantsolmon who finished with a ridiculous 26 makes from two.
- Delgernyam Davaasambuu was an absolute beast for Ulaanbaatar MMC Energy and finished as the top rebounder with 36 boards.