3x3 Basketball

Chooks 3×3 pro league ready for new bubble season

League commissioner Eric Altamirano says 3x3 basketball looks to return in a bubble setup in Calamba

Chooks-to-Go Pilipinas 3×3 looks to hold its first season as a professional basketball league by the third week of September, guided of course by strict health protocols to ensure the safety of all involved.

Commissioner Eric Altamirano said the league, which has gained pro status and is now under the subject of Games and Amusement Board, will hold it in a bubble at the Inspire Sports Academy in Calamba, Laguna.

“Tentatively the scheduled opening will be around third week of September,” Altamirano said. “Then it will go until February next year to be able to complete the season so we’ll have 3 conferences for this year.”

“We have to find an isolated area where we can do the bubble, and what better place to hold it than Inspire Sports Academy,” Altamirano said of the venue owned by the SM Group headed by tycoon Hans Sy.

Inspire Sports Academy, according to its official website, is “the first world-class learning and sporting institution in the Philippines that features 360-degree sport science and educational support for athletes.”

The whole complex – which is inside the National University-Laguna campus – also includes a dormitel with 32 dorm-type, 20 hotel-type and 4 executive rooms, for a total of 60 rooms with 176 beds.

“We were able to go there and inspect the campus and it’s a world-class campus. It’s complete, there’s a hotel. Really nice facility,” said Altamirano, who once served as head coach of NU. 

“And one thing we requested from them is once we get into the bubble, we’ll be the only ones in the campus, so that will really assure that everyone will be safe and air-tight.”

Altamirano then explained that everyone involved – from the players, the coaches, and the staff alike – are all set to undergo COVID-19 tests before entering the bubble.

“For example, we’re gonna enter the first day. Right before we enter, there’s going to be a series of testings so that is probably 5 to 7 days prior to the entry to the bubble,” he said. 

“There will be a PCR testing on players, and then on the day itself, we’re gonna have a rapid test, so that will ensure us that whoever goes into the bubble will be safe.”

“We will continue to apply the safety protocol in terms of testing before going inside the bubble,” added Altamirano. “It’s important that everybody follows and be disciplined in the execution of the protocol.”

And in the event that someone tests positive, Altamirano assured that the league also has an emergency contingency plan ready to take care of the matter accordingly.

“Of course, if they tested positive, we will not allow them and they will have to be isolated. And, we will also have an emergency contingency plan for those who will test positive,” he said.

Among those plans for positive cases include high-tech contact tracing. Altamirano said that it is among the major points he and his team had in mind as they drafted the health protocols for the league’s return.

Chooks 3×3, along with the PBA and the Philippines Football League, already got the green light to hold workouts following the signing of the government’s joint administrative order that allows pro sports to return to training. – Rappler.com