Newly recognized professional league Chooks-to-Go Pilipinas 3×3 has started shoring up its preparations for its new season later this year despite the coronavirus pandemic, recently discussing its plans with stakeholders.
Got the nod from the Games and Amusements Board last week to operate now as a professional league, the people from Chooks-to-Go Pilipinas 3×3 said they are excited to level up and are doing everything they can to ensure that the conduct of the league will be rightfully and carefully done especially amid the challenges presented by the ongoing situation with coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic.
The league is eyeing a September start to its season, which will be held in a bubble at the INSPIRE Academy in Calamba, Laguna.
To help it in its push for a successful staging of its tournament, Chooks-to-Go Pilipinas 3×3 recently met with team representatives of squads which will see action.
League commissioner Eric Altamirano led the meeting with team representatives who included San Juan-Go for Gold team governor Chris Conwi; Sta. Lucia sports head Buddy Encarnado; Nueva Ecija’s team manager Jai Reyes and official Mike Baldos; Porac-Big Boss Cement’s Ryan Monteclaro; Zamboanga-Family’s Brand Sardines’ Tonette Roque; Mindoro’s Justin Tan and Teytey Teodoro; and Sulu’s Marvin Forniza.
Mr. Altamirano and his team thoroughly discussed how the league would push through — including strict testings, player eligibility, and life inside the bubble.
Dr. Butch Ong of the University of the Philippines Science and Society Program discussed the health protocols while a representative from GET Philippines tackled the contract tracing application the players, staff, and team officials will use.
“We had to be very thorough and detailed during the meeting with the team owners since we can’t leave no stone unturned especially with the pandemic still ongoing,” said Mr. Altamirano.
Team representatives, for their part, came away satisfied with the meeting and vowed to follow what is asked of them.
“We are glad to be part of this organization,” said Mr. Encarnado.
“The players’ safety was greatly emphasized earlier. We can’t wait to get back to work since this is really for them,” Mr.Reyes, meanwhile, said.
The Chooks-to-Go Pilipinas 3×3 is a first-of-its-kind league founded by Bounty Agro Ventures, Inc. President Ronald Mascariñas last year with the goal of helping the country get enough FIBA 3×3 points to book a spot in the qualifiers for the 2020 Olympic Games, where 3×3 basketball is making its debut.
It succeeded in its immediate goal as the Chooks-to-Go backed squad earned a slot in the Olympic Qualifying Tournament happening in May next year in Austria. The team is hoping to go deeper and make its way to the rescheduled Tokyo Games in the middle of 2021.
Along the way, Chooks-to-Go Pilipinas 3×3 hosted a number of tournaments, something it aims to continue and build on now that it is a professional league. — Michael Angelo S. Murillo