Manila Chooks team off to Doha for FIBA 3x3 World Tour

ABS-CBN News

Posted at Nov 16 2020 11:19 AM

Manila Chooks team off to Doha for FIBA 3x3 World Tour 1
The Manila Chooks TM squad is in Doha for the FIBA 3x3 World Tour. Handout

MANILA, Philippines -- The Manila Chooks TM squad left Manila on Sunday evening for Qatar, where they will compete in the 2020 FIBA 3x3 World Tour Doha Masters.

The quartet of Philippines No. 1 Joshua Munzon, No. 2 Alvin Pasaol, No. 5 Troy Rike, and No. 6 Santi Santillan left the Ninoy Aquino International Airport 11:30 p.m. aboard Qatar Airways flight QR929. They are expected to arrive at the Hamad International Airport at 4:30 a.m. Monday.

The team endured a difficult departure, as their visas arrived just six hours before lift-off.

"FIBA 3X3's senior manager Ignacio Soriano and 3x3 events and partners associate Valentina Mattioli -- both of whom are in Spain -- and the Qatar ministry moved heaven and earth just to get the visas for the players," said Chooks-to-Go Pilipinas 3x3 league owner Ronald Mascariñas.

All participants in the Level 10-ranked tournament must be in Doha by Monday. Upon arrival, they will be under mandatory room quarantine in their hotels, and are only allowed to go out once they receive the results of their RT-PCR tests.

With just five days to go before the event, FIBA 3x3 has yet to release the groupings for this tournament that has $40,000 waiting for the champion team.

Also in the tournament are Liman and UB of Serbia; Riga of Latvia; NY Harlem and Princeton of USA; Lausanne of Switzerland; Jeddah and Riyadh of Saudi Arabia; Kamakura and Yoyogi of Japan; Bielefeld of Germany; Utana of Lithuania; and home team Lusail.

Team captain Pasaol, who during the 2019 edition of the tournament steered Balanga to the quarterfinals, believes that they are more mature now compared to before.

"Born-ready kami. We're confident naman eh dahil doon sa pinakita namin doon sa Calambubble. Sobrang laki nang in-improve ng team namin lalo na sa tiyaga," said Pasaol.

The four players, competing under the banner of Zamboanga City, ruled the Chooks-to-Go Pilipinas 3x3 President's Cup two weeks ago -- a triumph that earned them a slot in the Doha Masters.

"Hindi kami naiinip or nasisiraan man ng kumpyansa dahil malakas ang kalaban. 'Yun 'yung pinakamaganda sa amin ngayon kasi 'yun nga parang kalmado lang, hindi masyadong nagpa-panic, 'yun 'yung good side doon," Pasaol assured.

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