With the 2021 FIBA 3X3 Olympic Qualifying Tournament closing in, Ronald Mascariñas is making sure that the Philippine Men’s National 3×3 Basketball Team is prepared for the global meet.
In the upcoming 12-team Chooks-to-Go Pilipinas 3×3 President’s Cup powered by TM, the league gave further incentive for the 11 other teams in the league to go hard against them.
Besides the PHP 100,000 top prize for each of the first four legs of the President’s Cup, the team that will face Family’s Brand Sardines-Zamboanga City Chooks — which consists of PH no. 1 Joshua Munzon, no. 2 Alvin Pasaol, no. 5 Troy Rike, and no. 6 Santi Santillan — in the Finals will also bring home the same amount.
The caveat is that Zamboanga City will also have to make it to the Finals of the country’s first-ever professional 3×3 league. If not, the first-place team will bag PHP 100,000 ,while the second and third-placed squad will pocket PHP 30,000 and 20,000 respectively in this tournament that is also ranked level seven by the International Basketball Federation.
“This season of Chooks-to-Go Pilipinas 3×3 is really to help our national team get ready for the Olympic Qualifying Tournament in Graz, Austria next year. We can’t just let them train without actually facing competition. It won’t make sense,” said Mascariñas.
“But we also have to reward the teams that have taken the time and effort to face them. That is why we raised the stakes for our first conference.”
The OQT was supposed to take place last March 18 to 22 in Bangalore, India but was postponed due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
The President’s Cup is tentatively set to open its curtains on October 2 at the Inspire Academy in Laguna. Meanwhile, the second leg immediately takes place on October 4. Legs 3 and 4 are penciled in on October 16 and 18, respectively.
The Grand Finals — which has a PHP 1,000,000 prize for the champions, 300,000 for the runners-up, and 100,000 for the third-place finishers — will happen on November 7.
The 11 other teams are Uling Roasters-Butuan City, Bacolod-Masters Sardines, Nueva Ecija Rice Vanguards, Palayan City Capitals, Zamboanga Peninsula Valientes MLV, Porac Big Boss Cement Green Gorillas, Bicol 3×3 Pro, Pasig Sta. Lucia Realtors, Saranggani Marlins, Pagadian City Rocky Sports Valientes, and a team backed by Petra Cement.
The teams of the league have been doing workouts since August 26 at the UP Epsilon Chi Gym in Quezon City. The league is still waiting on the IATF’s approval to start scrimmages.
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