The young 1Bataan Risers had been dominant in the on-going 2019 Chooks-to-Go Pilipinas 3×3 President’s Cup. But in the third leg, they entered with a disadvantage.
Sean Manganti figured with a right ankle injury during the second leg. Taking precautionary measures, 1Bataan opted to activate 11-year pro Chito Jaime for Manganti.
And it seemed that Jaime and the trio of Alvin Pasaol, Anton Asistio, and Santi Santillan were not a fit as the Risers were stunned by Gerald Anderson and the Marikina Shoemasters, 15-18 in the preliminary round.
“Nanibago kami kasi ever since pre-season, kami nila Sean ang magkasama,” admitted Asistio.
“Siguro nung una nag-adjust kami. Yung kuya namin bago,” added Pasaol.
“Nanibago kami kanina pero nakapag-adjust kami sa isa’t isa.”
After a short break, it seemed that the chemistry issue they had only lasted for one game as the Risers racked up win after win to enter the finals.
“Madali naman pala kasama sa loob ng court si Kuya Chito,” quipped Asistio.
And the homegrown native of Bataan shared that he struggled early because of how different 3×3 was compared to 5 on 5.
“Okay naman pero mas nakakapagod siya. Perok ayos naman, nanalo kami,” expressed the 14th overall pick in the 2008 draft.
“Mga bata yung kakampi ko kaya hindi ako puwede magpakita ng pagod. Kailangan ko makipagsabayan sa kanila kanina.”
After the day had ended, the 35-year-old was relieved to have proven that he can keep up with players that are 10 years younger than him. More importantly, he was able to prove that someone outside the UAAP or the NCAA can keep up with them.
“Oo may pressure pa rin sa akin dahil sikat mga to sa UAAP e. Kahit ang tagal na since college ako, dala ko pa rin bandera ng AMA. Pinagmamalaki ko na galing ako sa AMA.”