For the first time in the Chooks-to-Go Pilipinas 3×3 President’s Cup, a match was forfeited due to lack of personnel.
In the second leg of the league Sunday, the Bacoor Strikers earned a win over Valenzuela Classic via default. Two of Valenzuela’s players – Paolo Hubalde and Chris De Chavez – had their flight from Zamboanga to Manila delayed.
Valenzuela were down south that time, as the Maharlika Pilipinas Basketball League had held its games in Zamboanga on Saturday.
Fortunately, both Hubalde and De Chavez arrived at SM Megamall Events Center within the day. They joined Jan Jamon and center Mac Andaya, and were able to save Valenzuela from giving out easy victories.
With the team complete, the Classic defeated the Vigan Baluarte Wolves, 21-20, thanks to Hubalde’s game-winner. But Andaya also had a hand in the win thanks to his inside presence, and he couldn’t be happier with the result.
That, even if Valenzuela missed the semis due to the forfeiture.
“May commitment yung mga kasama ko sa Valenzuela … Miracle na nga na umabot sila.
“Pero at least napakita namin sa mga kalaban na we’re not pushovers and we’re here to compete,” said the 6-foot-9 Andaya.
The second leg was Andaya’s first time to play 3×3. For the 37-year-old, he felt like he was in his youth again playing the three-a-side game, which was introduced by FIBA to the world back in the 2009 Asian Youth Games.
“Sanay naman dahil diyan kami nagsimula, sa three-on-three sa kalye. Parang bumalik lang sa kabataan.
“Pero mas improved ngayon, kasi mas malakas kami, mas malaki … Ngayon mas matured kami sa laro,” expressed the eighth overall pick in the 2008 PBA Draft.
The third leg of the President’s Cup is set this Friday, March 1, at SM Fairview, and the groupings and schedule have yet to be determined. But for Andaya, he vowed that his Classic will try to do better on Friday compared to the first two legs.
“We’ll do better compared to the first two legs. Maybe on the third, we’ll become champions.”