MANILA, Philippines – Troy Rike and Franky Johnson will continue competing in the Chooks-to-Go Pilipinas 3x3 for its second season.
This, after both players withdrew their names from the upcoming PBA Rookie Draft.
Both Rike and Johnson submitted their draft applications last week, even though they were unsure about moving on to the 5-on-5 game.
That is why during the thanksgiving celebration of Chooks-to-Go for the country's qualification in the FIBA 3X3 Olympic qualifying tournament (OQT) last Saturday, Ronald Mascariñas expressed his appreciation for the two.
"Whether or not you two play in the OQT or not, it doesn't matter to us. We are here and we qualified for the OQT because of you," the league owner of Chooks-to-Go Pilipinas 3x3 said.
"Both of you were big factors in this endeavor. I won't allow any of our family members to be left behind."
After a few days, the two Filipino-American stalwarts had a change of heart, and followed the example of Joshua Munzon, Alvin Pasaol, and Santi Santillan in pulling their names from the Rookie Draft.
"I've really enjoyed this year. I'm glad to have helped my country out even with just a small part. There are so many people involved that I would like to thank. They really have become family over the past year. I really mean that," said the 23-year-old Rike, who first made his name in National University before switching to 3x3.
"I can't imagine next year playing without family. I'll be back," he added.
Johnson, for his part, wants to make the most of his opportunity to represent the Philippines in the international stage. Chooks 3x3 has helped him achieve that dream and that he does not want it to end yet.
"The game of 3x3 is blowing up and becoming a huge sport worldwide. Staying with Chooks-to-Go 3x3 gives a direct opportunity for me to represent my motherland," said the 6-foot gunner.
"That has been my dream since I was young."
With this, the core of Chooks-to-Go's pro teams will be back for the 2020 season.
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