With their imports nursing injuries, Pasig Chooks-to-Go will field an all-Filipino lineup for the FIBA 3X3 Huaqiao International Kunshan Challenger.
The level-nine tournament – which serves as the last qualifier for the Chengdu World Masters – takes place from May 18 to 19 in China.
Called up for duty are Taylor Statham, Joshua Munzon, Dylan Ababou, and Troy Rike.
“We are sending the original Pasig Kings team. This is the actual team that qualified for the Doha Masters for winning the Chooks-to-Go President’s Cup,“ said league commissioner Eric Altamirano.
Serbian import Nikola Pavlovic is nursing a swollen left hand. Meanwhile, French reinforcement Angelo Tsagarakis suffered a semi-fractured rib during the Doha Masters last April 18.
This will serve as a good challenge for the country’s top 3×3 players, as they test their mettle against some of the world’s best 3×3 teams.
“For the last five months, we have pushed our players to the limit in our local league. Now it’s time to see if we can win an international tournament without guest players,” said Chooks-to-Go Pilipinas 3×3 league owner Ronald Mascariñas.
Pasig Chooks-to-Go is grouped in Pool A of the tournament with no. 3 team in the world Liman (Serbia) and Sosnovy BorCopRosatom (Russia).
“It’s going to be tough. We are facing Liman and one Russian team. It’s going to be a tough group, but hopefully, with their familiarity of the players with each other, that can be an advantage for us,” remarked Altamirano, as Pasig defeated Liman during the group stages of the Doha Masters, 19-16. “Also, Josh and Taylor gained a lot of experience in Doha.”
Pasig open their campaign against Sosnovy on Saturday at 5:55 pm before taking on LIman at 7:40 pm.
The top two teams in the group will advance to the knockout playoffs on Sunday.
The winner of the tournament will bring home a ticket to the Chengdu Masters and USD 15,000. Second place pockets USD 10,000, while third and fourth-placed squads will go home with USD 5,000 and USD 2,000, respectively.
If Liman or Riga win the tournament or go 1-2, the next best team will get the ticket to Chengdu.
“They are not just representing Pasig or Chooks-to-Go for this tournament. They are the country’s representatives,” closed Mascariñas.