By REYNALD MAGALLON
Chooks-to-Go Pilipinas and FIBA 3×3 forged a partnership to strengthen the country’s bid of becoming a hotbed for the halfcourt event and also make a strong case of qualifying to the Paris 2024 Olympics.
Chooks-to-Go President Ronald Mascariñas and 3×3 Head for Events and Partnership Ignacio Sanchez inked a five-year global partnership as the country serves as host to at least three major events in the FIBA 3×3 calendar this year.
First in the pipeline is the Chooks-to-Go Southeast Asia Super Quest which fires off on April 30 to May 1 while two events in FIBA 3×3 World Tour circuit are also set in the country with the Manila Masters happening in May while the Cebu Masters taking place in October.
Chooks-to-Go also announced its 3×3 team composed of the top ranked players in the country in Mac Tallo, Zach Huang and Dennis Santos.
Also reinforcing the squad are Mike Harry Nzeusseu and Fil-Canadian recruit Brandon Ramirez.
The squad will be under the tutelage of Coach Aldin Ayo together with his deputy Chico Lanete and player development coach Mark Yee.
The team is set to fly to Serbia next month for a two-week buildup as the country aims to participate in any FIBA sanctioned events it can qualify including the first 3×3 World Tour event in Utsunomiya, Japan.
Chooks-to-Go Pilipinas 3×3 team will need to reach the Top 3 of the FIBA 3×3 World rankings to get a direct qualification to the Paris Olympics. The country which currently ranks as No. 31 will have an uphill climb as it guns for the third spot of the rankings. Serbia tops the ladder followed by Lithuania and Latvia.
The country has amassed a total of 388,000 points so far and Chooks-to-Go is currently seeking approval of FIBA to organize weekly 3×3 quest level events to help in generating the needed points.