MANILA – Chooks-to-Go Pilipinas 3x3 is back in business!
The country's premier professional 3x3 basketball league returns as its new season ushers in on Wednesday.
A special one-day event, called the Chooks-to-Go 3x3 Invitational, will tip off the 2021 calendar for the said league.
Chooks-to-Go Pilipinas 3x3 owner Ronald Mascariñas said this tournament slated at the Laus Events Centre in San Fernando City, Pampanga hopes to rekindle the flame of the league's stakeholders as the coronavirus disease 2019 (Covid-19) has slowed the league down as it aims to qualify outright for the 2024 Paris Olympics.
"The pandemic has really affected our goal of garnering valuable FIBA 3x3 points for the country in our dream of qualifying for the 2024 Paris Olympics," Mascariñas said. "For us to re-ignite the fire of our stakeholders and team owners, we organized this one-day tournament which has no entry fee. It's about time 3x3 basketball returns.”
Twelve clubs have accepted the challenge, namely HeiHei Manila, Pacquiao Coffee Bacolod, BRT Sumisip Basilan, Homegrown Grains Bocaue, AMACOR Mandaluyong, RBR Cabiao Nueva Ecija, Pasig Kingpins, Adam Esli Pasay, MNL Kingpin Quezon City, Essen Immunoboost Sarangani, Zamboanga Valientes, and ARQ Builders Cebu.
The teams will vie for a PHP100,000 championship prize.
The second placer will get PHP50,000, while the third placer will take home PHP20,000.
A pre-tournament meeting was held on Saturday where league officials discussed the rules of the invitational as well as the Covid-19 protocols set for the event.
"I commend the company for preparing for this event. I am so thankful to Chooks-to-Go for pulling off this event because it's time to go back to normal," league doctor Jefferson Pagsisihan said. "Definitely, it is possible to have this safe event for as long as the teams and the league will adhere to the rules of GAB (Games and Amusements Board) and the IATF (Inter-Agency Task Force for the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases), we will be able to do this tournament."
He then told the participating ballers to "just play and entertain the people because we need 3x3 back."
Just like the previous Chooks 3x3 legs, the full FIBA 3x3 rules will be implemented in the invitational as the league begins its mad dash toward putting the Philippines, currently 24th in the world in the men's rankings, inside the Top 4, which would merit automatic spots to the Paris Olympics.
"Ang importante kasi dito is mabigay natin yung (The important thing here is that we can give the) international standard of officiating in our league. Si Chooks kasi ang nagpapataas sa ranking natin kaya dapat (Chooks is the one boosting our world ranking so) we need to follow the same officiating as the international tournaments," league technical head Hector Villanueva said. (PNA)