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3x3 Basketball

Leo De Vera replaces Dylan Ababou as Pasig Kings look to seal FIBA 3X3 World Tour ticket, 1M pot

To close out the March madness, Chooks-to-Go Pilipinas 3×3 will hold the knockout Grand Finals of the President’s Cup on Sunday, March 31 at the SM Fairview Events Center.

However, two of the four top-ranked squads will enter the final tour of the country’s first-ever 3×3 basketball league with new pieces.

Two-leg champions Pasig Grindhouse Kings will not have Dylan Ababou for the knockout phase of the tournament that has PHP 1,000,000 at stake, as he is still nursing a strained right calf.

Replacing Ababou is former San Sebastian stalwart Leo De Vera.

“Leo has been training with us for the last two weeks. Naturo ko na naman sa kanya yung plays namin and he seems to have good chemistry with Josh [Munzon], Taylor [Statham], and Troy [Rike],” said Ababou, the ninth-ranked 3×3 player in the country.

Pasig, who has tallied 360 points during the first four legs, will need to finish in the top three for this leg to book their ticket to the 2019 FIBA 3X3 World Tour Doha, which takes place from April 18 and 19.

The Kings will take on the winner between #8 Bulacan Kuyas and #9 Zamboanga Valientes MLV.

The wild card games begin at 11:00am.

Second-seed 1Bataan Risers – who will join Pasig for the Chooks-to-Go 3X3 Asia Pacific Super Quest from April 6 to 7 at SM Megamall – opted to suit-up Chito Jaime instead of Anton Asistio.

“Hindi kami papayag maulit sa amin yung nangyari nung fourth leg,” lamented Pasaol, as they need to win the final leg while Pasig to finish below third place to punch their ticket to Doha. “Papakita namin na kami ang deserving na mag-represent sa Pilipinas sa Doha.”

They will go up against the victor of the #7 Cebu-Max4 Birada, who will have Dondon Hontiveros in the lineup, and #10 Zark’s Jawbreakers-Quezon City.

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Third-ranked Pasay Voyagers will not have sniper Roosevelt Adams as well, as the Filipino-American is still healing his slight right meniscus tear. Stepping up for Pasay is former UST Growling Tiger Justin Arana.

The Karl Dehesa-less Vigan Wolves and the Bacoor City Strikers will square-off for the right to face Pasay.

Finally, Mac Cardona will make his return for the fourth-seeded San Juan Knights-Go for Gold. San Juan will await the winner of the Mac Andaya-powered Carga Valenzuela Classic and the Marikina Shoemasters, who will have Gerald Anderson once again.

The Most Valuable Player of the tournament will bring home a cool PHP 50,000 as well.

To bring a more all-star feel to the event, David Carlos, Kobe Paras, Franky Johnson, and Darwin Cantong will vie for PHP 20,000 in the Gameville Slam Dunk competition, while the winner of the 12-man Gameville Three-point Shootout will pocket PHP 10,000.

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