Cebu Chooks! will be slotted in a tough Pool A come the 2022 Chooks-to-Go FIBA 3×3 World Tour Manila Masters.
The top Philippine team will be slotted with top team in the world Serbia’s Ub Huishan NE and Mongolia’s Zavkhan MMC Energy.
After claiming the Utsunomiya Opener in a memorable fashion, Ub made an early statement to reinforce their credentials that they are the team to beat ta the Ayala Malls Manila Bay on May 28-29.
But Ub should get an early test against in-form Cebu Chooks (PHI), who will be boosted by their army of crazy passionate fans. The Filipinos broke a long drought for the Philippines on the pro circuit with a victory at the Super Quest event in Manila.
Their chances of upsetting Ub rests with deadly duo Mac Tallo and Mike Harry, who were dynamic in that triumph and need to produce something similar at their favored half-court in Manila.
“It’s going to be a tough group for Cebu but it’s also going to be a learning experience,” said Chooks-to-Go president Ronald Mascariñas. “But both Cebu and Manila Chooks have been training with Ub and Liman here for the past week. Hopefully, the lessons they learn from the Serbians will be of great help come the Manila Masters.”
Pool B is highlighted by a blockbuster between No.2 seed Antwerp (BEL) and No.7 seed Sansar MMC Energy (MGL).
The third team in the group will come from a qualifying draw, featuring Yokohama (JPN), Auckland (NZL), and Melbourne (AUS).
Pool C should be crowned the ‘Group of Death’ and features potentially the best game on Day 1 between powerhouse and No.3 seed Liman Huishan NE (SRB) and emerging Warsaw Lotto (POL).
Be careful, though, it might not just be a two-horse race with Gurugram 3BL (IND) boasting the ‘Bearded King’ Bikramjit Gill, ball wizard Inderbir Gill and former number one Slovenian Blaz Cresnar aka ‘Birdman’, who’s making his big 3×3 comeback.
Manila Chooks, headline by the triple tower trio of Henry Iloka, Ken Holmqvist, and Dennis Santos along with old sage Chico Lanete, is slotted in Pool D along with rivals Ulaanbaatar MMC Energy and Zaisan MMC Energy.