MANILA, Philippines -- Seven imports will play for six teams that will compete in the special one-day Chooks-to-Go Pilipinas Invitational powered by TM on Wednesday at the Laus Events Center in San Fernando, Pampanga.
Headlining the foreign players is HeiHei Manila's two-time NCAA All-Defensive team member Mike Nzeusseu, who played for Lyceum of the Philippines University in the NCAA. The 6-foot-6 Cameroonian will join Chico Lanete, Zach Huang, and Mac Tallo.
Returning to the league is 6-foot-7 Cameroonian Chibueze Ikeh, who played for Ateneo de Manila University in the UAAP, helping them win the Season 80 championship. Ikeh, who previously played for Inoza Bulacan in the 2019 Patriot's Cup, will reinforce Essen Immunoboost Sarangani -- a team that has Ronjay Buenafe, Paul Sanga, and Donald Gumaru.
Another returnee to the league is 6-foot-7 Cameroonian Frederick Elombi, who played for Max4-Birada Cebu back in 2019 as well. Elombi will be joined by fellow Cameroonian Landry Sanjo, Monbert Arong, and Ralph Dinolan in ARQ Builders-Cebu.
The other imports are Cameroonian Hamadou Laminou (BRT Sumisip-Basilan), Nigerian Henry Iloka (RBR Cabiao Nueva Ecija), and Eugene Toba (Pasig Kingpins).
"We opened up the one-day invitational tournament that we have to imports for the sole reason that these former student-athletes have not played for such a long time and have been stranded in our country since the pandemic," said Chooks-to-Go Pilipinas 3x3 league owner Ronald Mascariñas.
"This will also help our local players in adjusting to the global FIBA 3x3 game as there are a lot of skilled 6-foot-6 and above players in those competitions," he added.
Basilan will also have Junjie Hallare, Shaq Alanes, and Darwin Lunor; Nueva Ecija has Ian Dela Torre, Ichie Altamirano, and King Importante; while Pasig features Ryan and Nikki Monteclaro along with Jaypee Belencion.
The other teams in this tournament are Pacquiao Coffee Bacolod, Homegrown Grains Bocaue, AMACOR Mandaluyong, Adam Esli Pasay, MNL Kingpin Quezon City, and Zamboanga Valientes MLV.
Zamboanga will have an all-homegrown team in Paulino Rebollos, David Sebastian, Gino Jumao-as, and Alex Mohammad. The Valientes have yet to miss a Chooks-to-Go Pilipinas 3x3 tournament.
Bocaue will have Dennis Santos, Mark Yee, Ralph Tansingco, and Jayvee Marcelino, while Bacolod will be composed of JK Casino, Cyrus Tabi, Joseph Eriobu, and Jayjay Manlangit.
Pasay has Jan Jamon, Elvin Chan, Jerome Pasia, and Agosto Flor; Mandaluyong has Michael Macaballug, Janus Lozada, Martin Gozum, and Marvin Hayes; while Quezon City has Jerome Garcia, Mon Mabayo, John Amboludto, and Joseph Peñaredondo.
This one-day tournament that is endorsed by FIBA 3x3, regulated by the Games and Amusements Board, and is supported by Gatorade will air on Chooks-to-Go Pilipinas' Facebook page and on FIBA 3x3's YouTube channel.
The champion will take home P100,000 while the second and third place finishers will bank P50,000 and P20,000, respectively