Pasig Chooks-to-Go eyes redemption in the upcoming FIBA 3X3 Poitiers Challenger this weekend in France.
The team composed of world no. 97 Joshua Munzon, no. 103 Taylor Statham, no. 136 Nikola Pavlovic, and Philippine no. 6 Dylan Ababou have been on a skid the past two Challengers, losing all their games in Kunshan and Moscow Challengers.
Needing to rack up wins to further boost the country’s FIBA 3X3 points, Chooks-to-Go Pilipinas 3×3 league owner Ronald Mascariñas gave them a definitive marching order.
“It’s one thing to participate but we need to get the victories as it will multiply our points in the FIBA 3X3 ladder,” he said. “They are more equipped now to take on the European squads with their experience in both our local league and the Challengers they played in.”
Pasig is ranked as the fifth seed in this tourney that will serve as the qualifier for the 2019 Lausanne World Tour Masters.
In the group stage, Pasig will first face the top team of Qualifying Group B, which features France’s Lyon Blacklist, La Rochelle, and Poitiers, on Friday, July 5 at 11:30 pm (Manila time). They then take on world no. 23 Lausanne of Switzerland on Saturday at 2:30 am (Manila time).
The top two teams in the group advance to the knockout playoffs the next day.
For Munzon and Statham, this tourney will be their acid test on where they are in the world stage.
“I wouldn’t say that there’s more pressure than the last one but I feel like we know that we are better than what we have been showing. We have to go out there and win games,” said Munzon.
“We said over and over again that this is an uphill battle. We’ve used all these losses as lessons. The Poitiers Challenger is a good gauge of how far we’ve come. I don’t want to give any predictions or say what we are going to do. I just want to let our game do the talking,” added Statham.
Also in France to serve as the team’s mentor is Chooks-to-Go Pilipinas 3×3 commissioner Eric Altamirano.
With Pasig missing the third leg of the 2019 Chooks-to-Go Pilipinas 3×3 Patriot’s Cup presented by Coca-Cola, the league will award the team a minimum of 60 points (fourth place). It could go up to as high as 100 points depending on the team’s performance in Poitiers.