The Games and Amusements Board (GAB) has promoted Chooks-to-Go Pilipinas as the first professional 3×3 basketball league in the country on Wednesday, July 29.
In a special online press conference hosted by the league, GAB chairman Abraham “Baham” Mitra formally announced the new status of the country’s pioneering league in 3×3.
“We’d like to announce that in the board meeting of the GAB yesterday, we received and accepted the interest of Chooks-to-Go 3×3 to turn professional,” he said.
“We’re happy that a new game has come to regulatory functions. It’s additional work for us, but it’s within our mandate. Any sport or any activity where you are paid to play is professional.”
League commissioner Eric Altamirano was likewise excited to see the league’s application come to fruition.
“This will provide our local players the opportunity to explore possibilities as a professional career in the 3×3 league. We all know that 3×3 is fast becoming a popular sport, not only in the Philippines, but in the world,” he said.
“I really believe that we Filipinos have a very strong chance of excelling in this sport. We all know what happened last year. For the first time, we were able to qualify in the Olympic Qualifier. It only showed that Filipinos can excel in this league.”
On November 1 last year, the Philippines was among the 16 nations that qualified for the 3×3 Olympic Qualifying Tournament due to the efforts and FIBA rankings points amassed by the Chooks 3×3 league.
It’s top two ranked players, Joshua Munzon and Alvin Pasaol, joined pro stars CJ Perez and Mo Tautuaa to form the Philippines’ OQT team. Led by Munzon and Pasaol, Chooks 3×3 houses nearly the entire top 100 FIBA-ranked players in the country.
Initially scheduled to be held in Bangalore, India, the tournament has been moved to May 26-30, 2021 in Graz, Austria due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
In preparation for the OQT and its new season, Chooks 3×3 has been preparing a bubble setup similar to the NBA for its games and practices in accordance to the rules set by the Inter-Agency Task Force (IATF). – Rappler.com