After a successful 2020 season that saw Chooks-to-Go Pilipinas 3×3 receive professional status from the Games and Amusements Board, the International Basketball Federation (FIBA) re-certified the league as its partner for the Philippines.
FIBA 3X3 chief Ignacio Soriano himself lauded the efforts of the three-year-old league headed by Bounty Agro Ventures Inc. president Ronald Mascariñas in paving the way for the country to garner points to qualify for the Olympic Qualifying Tournament set from May 26-30, 2021 in Graz, Austria.
“Chooks-to-Go Pilipinas 3×3 has been a key partner of FIBA for the development of 3×3 in the Philippines over the past years,” said Soriano.
“It’s a pro league that has generated so much activity and ranking points for the Philippines, that it has played a significant role in bringing the country to the brink of the Olympics at the FIBA 3×3 Olympic Qualifying Tournament.”
During its inaugural season in 2019, Chooks-to-Go Pilipinas 3×3 had three local conferences — the all-Filipino President’s Cup, the import-laden Patriot’s Cup, and the open tournament Magiting Cup. Each conference served as qualifiers for numerous FIBA 3X3 pro circuit events across the world.
Chooks-to-Go Pilipinas 3×3 also hosted the world’s first-ever FIBA 3X3 Super Quest and the country’s first-ever hosting of a Challenger tournament.
A pandemic-hit 2020 did not stop the league from holding a tournament, holding the second President’s Cup inside a bubble at Inspire Sports Academy in Calamba, Laguna.
“We have been very impressed with the way Chooks-to-Go Pilipinas 3×3 has presented its games so far. The fan experience at the 2020 bubble was particularly eye-catching and a source of inspiration for our own events, both in terms of the look and feel of the venue and media and TV coverage,” Soriano said about the ‘Calambubble’.
For 2021, Chooks-to-Go Pilipinas 3×3 is in a rebuilding stage. Though there will be a lot of faces, the goal remains the same — to qualify for the 2024 Paris Olympics.
One of the key point-garnering events the league will host is the 2021 Chooks-to-Go FIBA 3X3 Manila Masters scheduled in the second or third quarter of the year.
“We’re looking forward to bringing the FIBA 3×3 World Tour back to the Philippines in 2021, after two amazing Masters in 2014 and 2015.
“Moreover, we’re keeping a close eye on the development of the Chooks-to-Go Pilipinas 3×3 pro league, which has brought competitive teams and tons of great ideas for the development of our own FIBA 3×3 events,” bared Soriano.
Speaking on behalf of FIBA 3X3, the Spaniard looks forward to growing the partnership with Chooks-to-Go Pilipinas 3×3 in helping grow the sport not just in the country but also in the region.
“In order to fully grow as a standalone basketball discipline, 3×3 needs dedicated players who elevate their game to the specificities of 3×3 and can act as ambassadors during the entire year. A 3×3 basketball pro league offers a unique platform for the development of these top players, who will convert fans worldwide to follow and play 3×3,” Soriano opined.
“For instance, the teams coming out of the Chooks-to-Go Pilipinas 3×3 events have been able to play on the FIBA 3×3 pro circuit all around the globe, including the FIBA 3×3 World Tour. These teams have brought a spectacular amount of new fans to 3×3, from the Philippines and beyond.”
For his part, Mascariñas vowed to continue helping FIBA 3X3 in grooming more Filipinos to the sport.
“For 2021 and beyond, we will continue with what we are doing. Of course, there will be a lot of new faces in our league but the mission remains the same which is to prove that our athletes can compete with the world’s best,” he said.