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Manila Chooks eyes top three finish in FIBA 3×3 WT Manila

Toughened up by their stints in two overseas tournaments, the Manila Chooks! 3×3 squad is more determined than ever to achieve a podium finish in the FIBA 3×3 World Tour Manila Masters, scheduled for May 20 to 21 at the Glorietta Activity Center.

Chooks-to-Go President Ronald Mascariñas pins his hopes on the team to deliver for the country.

“We are set to face formidable opponents in the upcoming Manila Masters, yet I have full confidence that the new Manila Chooks! squad is more than capable of rising to the challenge,” Mascariñas said. “The landscape of 3×3 basketball has undergone significant transformations in recent years, and we have remained steadfast in our commitment to continuously enhance our 3×3 basketball program.

“This rejuvenated Manila Chooks! team, characterized by its youth and agility, has diligently prepared to confront the top foreign teams they will encounter.

“It is crucial for them to bear in mind that they are not just representing themselves but our entire nation. This realization should serve as a profound inspiration, propelling them to deliver their utmost performance on the court,” added the amiable godfather of Philippine 3×3.

Head trainer Chico Lanete is convinced that the Philippine contingent in the maximum level FIBA 3×3 tournament, the top competition on the 3×3 pro circuit, can emerge victorious and earn more points for the country’s bid to qualify for the Paris Olympics next year.

“Our preparation is almost 100 percent. Our trips to Amsterdam and Mongolia have been of great help as we identified areas where we needed improvement,” Lanete said during the press launch held at the Chooks! dine-in restaurant at the Mall of Asia in Pasay. “Hopefully, we will be fully ready next week.”

Lanete believes that his quartet’s run-and-gun style of play will prove advantageous in the Manila Masters, which will feature renowned teams such as Serbia’s UB Huishan, Latvia’s Riga, the Netherlands’ Amsterdam HiPRO, and Mongolia’s Sansar MMC Energy.

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“I expect our run-and-gun style of play to be on full display in the upcoming tournament. We can shoot from outside, drive inside, and maintain a fast-paced game,” Lanete said.

According to Lanete, the Philippine side cannot afford to overlook their opponents.

“Our opponents’ line-ups are mixed. For example, some players from Serbia have joined teams in Mongolia, while players from Antwerp have gone to China. Similarly, players from Riga have joined teams in China,” he said.

“You can’t underestimate any team. All teams are strengthening their rosters.”

The Manila Masters offers a $40,000 prize for the champion, with $30,000 and $22,000 going to the runner-up and third-place finisher, respectively.

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