Bacoor will be leaning on the experience of Gab Babal as it looks to turn heads in the inaugural Chooks-to-Go Pilipinas 3×3 President’s Cup.
The tournament will kick-off on Saturday, February 16, at the Megamall Events Center.
Banal will be one of the few players who has international 3×3 experience. He previously represented the country in the FIBA 3×3 Challengers in Shanghai last year.
He’ll be joined by Mark Montuano, Zean Destacamento, Mark Doligon, and RJ Ramirez.
“It’s a very big advantage for him dahil he has faced foreign competition already. At least yung experience niya nadadala niya sa team,” said team owner Dennis Abella.
“‘Pag nagpra-practice sila, nagbibigay din siya ng pointers sa teammates niya kung paano dumiskarte sa larong ito. Iba yung 3×3 sa five-on-five, maraming galaw na ibang iba,” he added.
Much is expected of Banal, particularly since Matthew Aquino suffered injury over a week before the first and only 3×3 tournament in the country.
It was a big blow for the Strikers, especially after a promising showing from the 6-foot-9 bigman during the off-season, where he displayed his much-improved outside shooting.
But the Strikers still vow to be competitive despite Aquino’s injury.
“We had a tune-up against Trinity College last Friday. Habang nagtu-tune-up, na-fracture yung kanyang right ankle. Nung pagbaba niya while he was shooting, nag-landing sa paa nung bumabantay sa kanya,” explained Abella.
“Malungkot man kami, we have to move on and face it na hindi siya makakapaglaro. Sana hindi ganun kaseryoso yung injury niya at maihabol pa namin for the last legs.”
They’ll have their hands full as they’re bracketed with 1Bataan Risers and Zarks – Quezon City in Group A.