REPRESENTATIVES of teams seeing action in the one-day Chooks-to-Go Pilipinas 3x3 Invitational happening on Wednesday. — CHOOKS-TO-GO PILIPINAS 3X3

THE new season of the Chooks-to-Go Pilipinas 3×3 kicks off on Wednesday at the Laus Events Center in San Fernando, Pampanga.

A one-day invitational tournament, the event marks the return of the country’s first professional 3×3 league after a year of inactivity because of the prevailing conditions with the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic.

The last time the league held a tournament was in October last year at the Inspire Sports Academy in Calamba, Laguna.

The 2021 Chooks-to-Go Pilipinas 3×3 Invitational is done in partnership with TM and is still committed to promoting the domestic 3×3 basketball scene and talents.

“It’s about time 3×3 basketball returns,” said league owner Ronald Mascariñas.

“The pandemic has really affected our goal of garnering valuable FIBA 3×3 points for the country in our dream of qualifying for the 2024 Paris Olympics,” added the staunch sports supporter, whose group has been instrumental in the past years for Philippine squads to compete and earn points in FIBA-sanctioned 3×3 tournaments.

Twelve teams will see action in the tournament, namely: HeiHei Manila, Pacquiao Coffee Bacolod, BRT Sumisip Basilan, Homegrown Grains Bocaue, AMACOR Mandaluyong, RBR Cabiao Nueva Ecija, Pasig Kingpins, Adam Esli Pasay, MNL Kingpin Quezon City, Essen Immunoboost Sarangani, Zamboanga Valientes, and ARQ Builders Cebu.

International Basketball Federation (FIBA) 3×3 World Tour format will be in effect with the teams pooled in groups of three. The top two teams in each group will advance to the knockout playoffs on the same day.

Teams are allowed to tap foreign reinforcements as well.

The champion team will take home P100,000. The second and third place finishers will receive P50,000 and P20,000, respectively.

To ensure the health and safety of all participants, the league held a briefing for teams last weekend where the protocols that need to be observed and other particulars were discussed.

“We’re ready to hold the event and we have reviewed the rules of FIBA 3×3,” said league technical head Hector Villanueva.

The tournament is regulated by the Games and Amusements Board and endorsed by FIBA 3×3 as well as supported by Gatorade, Chooks!, Uling Roasters, and Adobo Connection. — Michael Angelo S. Murillo