Pasig, Bataan tinker squads for P1M, 3x3 World Tour spots
MANILA, Philippines – To close out the madness of March, Chooks-to-Go Pilipinas 3x3 will hold the knockout Grand Finals of the President's Cup on Sunday, March 31 at the SM Fairview Events Center.
However, two of the 4 top-ranked squads will enter the final tour of the country's first-ever 3x3 basketball league with new pieces.
Two-leg champions Pasig Grindhouse Kings will not have Dylan Ababou for the knockout phase of the tournament that has P1 million at stake as he is still nursing a strained right calf.
Replacing Ababou is former San Sebastian stalwart Leo De Vera.
"Leo has been training with us for the last two weeks. I taught him our plays and he seems to have good chemistry with Josh [Munzon], Taylor [Statham], and Troy [Rike]," said Ababou, the ninth-ranked 3x3 player in the country.
Pasig, which has tallied 360 points in the first 4 legs, will need to finish in the top 3 to book a ticket to the 2019 FIBA 3x3 World Tour Doha, which takes place from April 18 and 19.
The Kings will face the winner between No. 8 Bulacan Kuyas and No. 9 Zamboanga Valientes MLV.
The wild card games begin at 11 am.
Second-seed Bataan Risers, who will join Pasig for the Chooks-to-Go 3x3 Asia Pacific Super Quest from April 6 to 7 at SM Megamall, opted to suit up Chito Jaime instead of Anton Asistio.
"Hindi kami papayag maulit sa amin yung nangyari nung 4th leg," lamented Pasaol as they need to win the final leg and Pasig to finish below 3rd place to punch their ticket to Doha. "Papakita namin na kami ang deserving na mag-represent sa Pilipinas sa Doha."
(We won't let a repeat of the 4th leg happen. We will show that we are the ones deserving to represent the Philippines in Doha.)
They will face the victor of the No. 7 Cebu-Max4 Birada, who will have Dondon Hontiveros in the lineup, and No. 10 Zark's Jawbreakers-Quezon City.
Third-ranked Pasay Voyagers will not have sniper Roosevelt Adams as the Fil-Am is still recovering from a slight right meniscus tear. Stepping up for Pasay is former UST Growling Tiger Justin Arana.
The Karl Dehesa-less Vigan Wolves and the Bacoor City Strikers will face off for the right to face Pasay.
Finally, Mac Cardona will make his return for the fourth-seeded San Juan Knights-Go for Gold. San Juan will await the winner of the Mac Andaya-powered Carga Valenzuela Classic and the Marikina Shoemasters, who will have Gerald Anderson once again.
The Most Valuable Player of the tournament will bring home a cool P50,000 as well.
To bring a more all-star feel to the event, David Carlos, Kobe Paras, Franky Johnson, and Darwin Cantong will vie for P20,000 in the Gameville Slam Dunk competition while the winner of the 12-man Gameville Three-point Shootout will pocket P10,000. – Rappler.com