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3x3 Basketball

After surprise run in Doha Masters, Chooks 3×3 looks to join more FIBA tourneys

The world’s top 3×3 teams showed the Philippines why they are on that plane.

Powerhouses Liman (world no. 1) and Riga Ghetto (no. 3) taught Balanga Chooks and Pasig Chooks what the next level was during the quarterfinals of the 2019 FIBA World Tour Masters in Doha.

Pasig fell to Riga, 15-21, while Balanga was overwhelmed by Liman, 9-21, that ended their title aspirations for the first of 12 World Tour legs this season.

Still, Chooks-to-Go Pilipinas 3×3 commissioner Eric Altamirano remains proud of the stand put up by the two Philippine squads as the teams that bested them eventually moved on to the final.

“We made a statement that we belong here in the World Tour.

“Seeing the level of play here and knowing that we can keep up with the world’s best, it will definitely make our players hungrier to get back in the next legs of the World Tour,” he said as Pasig stunned Liman, 19-16, while Balanga shocked Riga, 19-17, during the pool stages last Thursday.

Riga took down the Doha Masters, taking a close 15-14 win over Liman, who snapped the 35-game winning streak of Novi Sad 20-17 during the semifinals.

For sweeping Pool A, the Pasig quartet of Taylor Statham, Joshua Munzon, Angelo Tsagarakis, and Nikola Pavlovic ended up as fifth place to bring home USD 5,000 while Balanga’s Travis Franklin, Alvin Pasaol, Karl Dehesa, and Santi Santillan, who swept Pool C, finished in sixth place in the 12-team meet.

In the dunk competition, David Carlos’ jaw-dropping set of jams was not enough to take down 2018 FIBA 3X3 World Tour Dunk Champion Vadim Miller.

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Carlos’ three-dunk show that was highlighted by a scorpion dunk over Pasaol only ended up with a total score of 85. Miller, on the other hand, put on a flawless performance for a score of 90.

The 5-foot-9 Filipino dunk artist still brought home USD 500 for his efforts.

Seeing that the Filipino is at-par with the world’s finest, Chooks-to-Go Pilipinas 3×3 league owner Ronald Mascariñas vowed that there will be more to come for Philippine 3×3 basketball.

“Now that we are back in the game, we will join every 3×3 tournament FIBA wants us to join,” he declared. “This is just the start for us.

“We will continue to raise the level of our league, hoping that one day we can be seen by the world as one of the elite 3×3 basketball countries.”

Pasig Chooks will move on to the Kunshan Challenger from May 18 to 19, a qualifier to the Chengdu Masters.

Then on June 1, the second conference of Chooks 3×3, the Patriots’ Cup, will raise its curtains at the SM Seaside Events Center in Cebu.

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