MANILA, Philippines -- After a first leg that saw Gold's Gym-Pasig reign supreme anew, the majority of the field in the 2019 Chooks-to-Go Pilipinas 3x3 Patriot's Cup decided to reload for the second stop on Sunday, June 23, at the SM Fairview Events Center.
NCAA Season 94 Most Valuable Player Prince Eze and four-time NCAA champion Ola Adeogun are set to make their 3x3 debuts, serving as imports for the Thunder-Pateros Hunters and Zamboanga Valientes MLV, respectively.
Eze will be the first foreign guest player for Pateros, who fielded an all-Filipino lineup last week in Cebu, while Adeogun replaces Shooster Olago.
After going winless in the first leg, Inoza-Gulf Bulacan Supreme Boosters decided to tap an import as well, getting the services of former Ateneo de Manila University Blue Eagle Chibueze Ikeh.
Max4-Birada Cebu, on the other hand, replaced Nigerian Rich Managor for Cameroonian Frederick Elombi. However, the squad only decided to field three players for the leg as Elombi will be joined by Darrell Menina and Jerome Napao.
The MiGuard-Vigan Wolves will play all-Filipino for the second straight leg, replacing Jojo Cunanan for veteran big man Jerwin Gaco.
"Actually, may six-man lineup is not yet full. But right now, I'm already content with my team and I'm not looking for any import," said Vigan owner Christian Singson. "Hopefully, we'll do better this leg."
After playing with just three players last week, world No. 14 VetHealth-Delhi 3BL tapped a fourth player for the second leg in Amiyot Singh Gil. Arsh Deep Singh was supposed to complete the Indian quartet but had problems obtaining a visa.
Completing the field are the returning Marikina Shoemasters. Former University of the Philippines Fighting Maroons JJ Espanola, ex-De La Salle University Green Archer Joshua Gonzales, Owe Mendenilla, and ex-University of the East Red Warrior Charles Mammie make up the Shoemasters.
Gold's Gym-Pasig, Wilkins-Balanga, Phenom-Basilan, Mindoro, and Tycoon-QC will have the same roster as last week in this tournament that will be shown live beginning at 1 pm.
VetHealth-Delhi will be joined by Thunder-Pateros and Mindoro in Pool A while Gold's Gym-Pasig will take on Zamboanga-MLV and Max4-Birada Cebu in Pool B.
"Just defense. Everything we do right now is to improve our defense. If we play defense really well, life will be easy for us. And we need to share the ball more," said Pasig's Taylor Statham on what they need to do to retain the crown.
Phenom-Basilan, Marikina, and Tycoon-QC compose Pool C while Wilkins-Balanga will square off against MiGuard-Vigan and Inoza-Gulf Bulacan in Pool D.
The top team in Pool A will take on Pool D's ace in the knockout semifinals while Pool B's best faces Pool C's top seed in the other bracket.
The winner of the leg will take home P100,000.
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