Chooks-to-Go Pilipinas 3×3 ushers in return

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TEAMS have started to enter INSPIRE Sports Academy in Calamba, Laguna, where the Chooks-to-Go Pilipinas 3x3 tournament bubble which will be held beginning next week. — CHOOKS-TO-GO PILIPINAS 3X3

THE new season of Chooks-to-Go Pilipinas 3×3 was officially ushered in on Wednesday in a virtual press conference.

Set to kick off on Oct. 21 with the first leg of its President’s Cup, organizers of the newly recognized professional league said they are very excited to get it going and offer their brand of 3×3 basketball anew.

“It’s all systems go for us. We can’t wait for all our teams to start playing,” said league commissioner Eric Altamirano.

The Chooks-to-Go Pilipinas 3×3 Philippine Cup will be played under a “bubble” setup at the INSPIRE Sports Academy in Calamba, Laguna, wittingly referred to as “Calambubble,” in strict compliance with government health and safety protocols in relation to the coronavirus pandemic.

In the bubble, all the 12 teams and league officials and staff will be holed up in the area for the two-week-long tournament, now powered by TM.

The league initially encountered a bump in its return push after its proposal for a “semi-bubble,” where it would have a shorter schedule of five days for each of the tournament legs, was turned down by the Inter-Agency Task Force for the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases (IATF).

It then eventually got the nod it was asking for after it recalibrated its plans to a full bubble where the tournament will be conducted in a “compact” manner and in one full stretch.

Mr. Altamirano said they worked hard to cover all the bases to ensure that the tournament will be successfully held, including the regular swab testing of participants from start to finish.

A preseason tournament beginning Oct. 19 will be held first inside the bubble.

The first leg will then kick off Oct. 21 to be followed by three more legs every other day.

The grand finals of the tournament, which is a FIBA 3×3-endorsed event, is slated for Oct. 30 where a P1-million prize is up for grabs.

As of Wednesday, seven of the 12 teams were already at INSPIRE, namely, Family’s Brand Sardines-Zamboanga City Chooks , Uling Roasters-Butuan City, Bacolod Master Sardines, Nueva Ecija Rice Vanguards, Palayan City Capitals, Porac-Big Boss Cement Green Gorillas, and Pasig-Sta. Lucia Realtors.

Family’s Brand Sardines-Zamboanga City Chooks  is bannered by the country’s top 3×3 players and national team members Joshua Munzon and Alvin Pasaol.

Other teams competing in the tournament are Zamboanga Peninsula Valientes MLV, Bicol 3×3 Pro, Saranggani Marlins, Pagadian City Rocky Sports Valientes, and Petra Cement.

Apart from continuing to bring 3×3 basketball to the fore in the country, the Chooks-to-Go tournament is also geared towards helping the national team prepare for the Olympic Qualifying Tournament next year. — Michael Angelo S. Murillo