THE Chooks-to-Go 3×3 Pilipinas President’s Cup hits the finale on Friday with the protagonists battling it out for the huge P1-million prize reserved for the winner.

After four competitive legs of its season “bubble” at the INSPIRE Sports Academy in Calamba, Laguna, the newly recognized professional league is now set for a strong finish.

All the competing 12 teams are still in the running but the top four seeds, on the strength of their strong performance in the previous legs, earned a direct entry into the quarterfinals while the remaining squads battle it out in the qualifying round with four teams advancing.

The four seeded squads are Family’s Brand Sardines-Zamboanga City, winner of legs 1, 2 and 4; Uling Roasters-Butuan City, leg 3 victor; Nueva Ecija Rice Vanguards and Pasig City-Sta. Lucia Realtors.

The rest of the field are composed of Palayan City Capitals, Big Boss Cement-Porac MSC Green Gorillas, Zamboanga Peninsula Valientes MLV, Pagadian City-Rocky Sports, Petra Cement-Roxas City ZN Rockies, Sarangani Marlins, Bacolod Master Sardines, and Bicol Paxful 3×3 Pro.  

Despite emerging as tournament favorites, Zamboanga City, made up of national team pool members Joshua Munzon, Alvin Pasaol, Santi Santillan and Troy Rike, said anything can happen in the grand finals, which is why it is bracing for a tougher challenge and determined to leave everything on the court.

“It’s not gonna be easy. Other teams are gonna go for it, too, but for us, we’re gunning for that championship,” said Mr. Rike.

The grand finals second-placer will bag P300,000 and the third-placer will net P100,000.

The grand finals of the Chooks-to-Go 3×3 Pilipinas President’s Cup powered by TM is the culminating activity of the league’s two-week-long tournament bubble, where all participants are holed up throughout the proceedings in the government-approved Calamba facility of National University.

It is being conducted under strict monitoring of health and safety protocols laid out by the Inter-Agency Task Force for the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases (IATF-EID) to guard against the coronavirus. — Michael Angelo S. Murillo