Isabela City Chooks will have their work cut out for them come the Sukhbaatar Challenger in Mongolia from September 13 to 14.
The champions of the 2019 Chooks-to-Go Pilipinas 3×3 Patriot’s Cup presented by Coca-Cola are slotted with world no. 1 Novi Sad of Serbia and no. 22 Ventspils Ghetto of Latvia in Pool A of this tournament that serves as a qualifier for the Jeddah Masters, which takes place from October 18-19.
Isabela City faces Novi Sad at 5:00 pm before taking on Ventspils at 7:30 pm on Friday. The top two teams in each group advance to the knockout playoffs on Saturday.
Despite this being just their third Challenger tournament, team manager Jackson Chua believes the team was built to compete in the world stage.
“Bago kami pero we don’t see ourselves that way. Nung sinimulan namin ito, we wanted to build a strong team. Gusto namin na ito yung team na that will make the people of Basilan proud,” he said.
Isabela City retained Franky Johnson and import Marcus Hammonds. Replacing Roosevelt Adamson and Troy Rike are Gab Banal and Aaron Rountree, Troy Rike’s teammate during their days in Wake Forest.
And Johnson can’t wait to finally compete in an international tourney as he was not able to join the team in Haining last June due to visa issues.
“We know that it will be really physical. The team got some good experience in China and I got a lot of tips from them,” said Johnson. “This will be my first time representing the country and I’m really excited about that.”
Besides making it to the World Tour, the team’s goal is to change how the country views Basilan.
“We want to redefine Basilan. Nakikilala na through sports yung Basilan. With this tournament, sana ma-reach pa namin yung Filipinos abroad and change their perspective about us,” closed Chua.
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