MANILA, Philippines -- Manila Chooks head coach Aldin Ayo is grateful that his team will get more competitive games under their belt, as they are set to compete in the 2021 Chooks-to-Go Pilipinas 3x3 Invitational powered by TM.
The one-day competition will take place on Wednesday at the Laus Group Events Centre in San Fernando, Pampanga.
The event comes at the perfect time for Manila Chooks, which will play as HeiHei in the domestic league. The team is set to compete in the 2021 FIBA 3x3 World Tour Abu Dhabi Masters on October 29-30.
"I'm happy because we are going to have games which we lacked," said Ayo, who is in his first year in handling the Chooks-to-Go Pilipinas 3x3 program.
"Yung first game natin, lagi tayo nag-struggle. Tapos, second game, nakaka-adjust. Hopefully, after this, we learn more about adjusting in tournaments," he added.
Manila Chooks had already competed in two Masters tournaments -- in Doha last March and in Montreal last September. But the team has only four games under its belt, as there have been no 3x3 leagues running both domestically or in the continent this year due to the ongoing pandemic.
Listed to play for Manila are Chico Lanete, Mac Tallo, Zach Huang, and Cameroonian reinforcement Mike Nzeusseu. Reserves Mark Yee and Dennis Santos will play alongside Ralph Tansingco, and Jayvee Marcelino in Homegrown Grains Bocaue.
Manila will be grouped with Adam Esli Pasay and Pacquiao Coffee Bacolod to form Pool A, while Bocaue is slotted with MNL Kingpin Quezon City and ARQ Builders-Cebu in Pool B.
Pool C will consist of Pasig Kingpins, Zamboanga Valientes MLV, and BRT Sumisip-Basilan, while Pool D has AMACOR Mandaluyong, Essen Immunoboost Sarangani, and RBR Cabiao Nueva Ecija.
The top two teams of each pool will advance to the knockout playoffs later in the day, with Pool A crossing over with C, while Pools B and D face-off.
Ahead of the event, Ayo is embracing the favorite tag that has been placed on his team.
"You don't lose eh. You learn. We are going to accept the challenge, but what is important is we improve," said Ayo.
The tournament offers a P170,000 prize pool, with the champion taking home P100,000.
All the games of this tournament that is supported by TM and Gatorade will air on Chooks-to-Go Pilipinas' Facebook page and on FIBA 3x3's Youtube channel.