Balanga Chooks makes its last push to the 2019 FIBA 3×3 World Tour Final, as it takes its act to Saudi Arabia for the Jeddah Masters this weekend.
Alvin Pasaol, the second-best 3×3-ranked player in the country, leads the crew. He again pairs up with the Philippines no. 3 Santi Santillan, no. 4 Karl Dehesa, and no. 8 Chris de Chavez as they carry the flag in the final tour.
“Ibubuhos na namin ‘yung lahat dito dahil ito na ‘yung huling chance natin para maiangat ‘yung ranking ng bansa natin,” said Pasaol, who is also ranked 128th-best in the world.
This also serves as the country’s final spurt to stay in the top 24 of the Fiba 3×3 men’s rankings before the October 31 deadline.
But it will be a tall task at hand for the second-ranked Filipino 3×3 team. It has a mountain to climb just to get through in pool play.
Grouped in Pool A, Balanga Chooks is bracing for world no. 2 Riga Ghetto of Latvia at 1:10 a.m. (Sunday Manila time). It then takes on Lyon of France at 4:30 a.m.
The Chooks-to-Go Pilipinas 3×3 Magiting Cup champion needs to win at least one game in the main draw to advance to the knockout playoffs.
And making a dent in this tourney could also do wonders for Balanga Chooks, as it needs to make it to the championship round to earn a spot in the 2019 FIBA 3×3 World Tour Utsunomiya Final in Japan come November.
“Nandito na tayo eh, so ibigay na natin ang lahat ng kaya natin para sa bayan,” said Pasaol.