3x3 basketball: Manila Chooks TM out to repeat Doha magic


Posted at Nov 20 2020 06:49 PM

3x3 basketball: Manila Chooks TM out to repeat Doha magic 1
Santi Santillan (from left), Troy Rike, Alvin Pasaol and Joshua Munzon form the Manila Chooks TM squad competing in the FIBA 3X3 Doha World Tour Masters. Courtesy of Chooks to Go

DOHA -- Manila Chooks TM said it was confident hours before stepping on the hard court of Al Gharafa Sports Complex here.

Before the team left Marriott Marquis City Center Doha Hotel, the quartet of Philippines No. 1 3x3 player Joshua Munzon, No. 2 Alvin Pasaol, No. 5 Troy Rike, and No. 6 Santi Santillan received their final marching orders from team head coach Aldin Ayo and assistant coach McJour Luib through Zoom.

There will be no pleasantries when the team squares off against their head trainer Stefan Stojacic and Liman in Pool A action in the 2020 FIBA 3X3 Doha World Tour Masters at 11:55 p.m. in the Philippines.

"Galit-galit muna kami ni coach Stefan mamaya," quipped team captain Alvin Pasaol.

An upset over Liman will prove that anything is possible in this tournament that has $40,000 waiting for the champion.

It will also be a much-needed momentum boost the team need when it takes on home team Lusail at 1:35 a.m.

Munzon has proven that beating the top 3x3 team in the world Liman is possible.

Back in the 2019 edition of the tournament, Pasig Chooks -- composed of Joshua Munzon, Taylor Statham, Nikola Pavlovic and Angelo Tsagarakis -- stunned Liman in the pool stages with a 19-16 win.

"We are undersized but can make up for that by displaying toughness and work rate," Munzon said.

"Hopefully we can have a good showing because we finished off last year quite badly after a really strong start," he added, as Pasig and the Pasaol-led Balanga could not make it past the quarterfinals last year.

The top two teams in Pool A will cross over with the top 2 of Pool C composed of world no. 4 NY Harlem, no. 14 Lausanne of Switzerland, and Lithuania's Utena in the knockout quarterfinals on Saturday.

The Doha Masters will air on FIBA 3X3's Facebook page and YouTube channel.