After suffering two semifinals heartbreaks in the on-going Chooks-to-Go Pilipinas 3×3 Patriot’s Cup presented by Coca-Cola, the Wilkins Balanga Pure decided to get its muscle back.
Travis Franklin, the resident import of Balanga in FIBA 3X3 competitions, is set to replace Prince Orizu starting with the third leg of the tournament that will be held on Saturday, July 6 at the SM Muntinlupa Events Center.
“We need to get the wins man,” said the 6-foot-7 native of Baton Rouge, Louisiana.
Balanga is currently in fourth place in the 12-team, Quest-level tournament with 140 points. They are 30 points behind league-leaders Gold’s Gym Pasig Kings and lag VetHealth Delhi 3BL and Phenom Basilan Steel by 20 points.
They were eliminated in the semifinals by Basilan (21-19) during the first leg and by Delhi (22-15) in the second leg.
“It’s great to have him back,” said team captain Karl Dehesa.
However, Franklin is less than a hundred-percent as he is nursing a bad back, an injury he incurred before the Moscow Challenger last June.
“I have to play this out since my team needs me even if I’m less than sixty-percent right now,” Franklin continued.
Though having Franklin back, Dehesa shared that Wilkins Balanga has been having a hard time to have a complete practice as Alvin Pasaol and Chris De Chavez are also playing for MPBL clubs Bataan Risers and Valenzuela Classic, respectively.
“It’s tough because we haven’t been complete in the practices since Chris and Alvin have MPBL teams. We really need to fine-tune some chemistry stuff,” he shared. “But it’s good to have Travis back since we have a go-to guy. He scores a lot of points but it’s tough to have two guys who have the 3×3 and MPBL.”