THE Philippines barged inside the Top 20 of the International Basketball Federation (FIBA) 3×3 World Rankings, thanks to a big lift from the Chooks-to-Go’s hosting of the prestigious FIBA 3×3 World Tour Manila Masters last week.

From No. 27, the country is now No. 18 in the world with 794,057 points and is second in Asia only behind No. 8 Mongolia (2,464,579), bolstering its bid to make it to the Olympic Qualifying Tournament (OQT) and the Paris Olympics in 2024.

Courtesy of FIBA 3×3 global partner Chooks-to-Go, the Philippines hosted the Manila Masters as part of the 13-city FIBA 3×3 World Tour that was won by world No. 1 3×3 team Ub from Serbia.

Local teams Cebu Chooks and Manila Chooks finished only in the Top 8, but the hosting alone delivered 247,158 points to the country.

Chooks-to-Go Pilipinas 3×3 teams also competed in Dubai, UAE and Ulaanbaatar, in Mongolia on top of winning the Asia Pacific Super Quest last April in Laguna to bring in over 150,000 more points.

“We already know the formula for us to reach the OQT having done so during the last Olympic cycle. Maintaining our rank will be relatively easy. The goal now is to turn our players into world-class athletes,” said Chooks-to-Go president Ronald Mascariñas.

“Hosting and participating bring in points, but winning FIBA 3×3 tournaments will bring maximum points,” he added.

Indeed, Chooks has produced more world-class players this year with Cebu Chooks ace and the country’s No. 1 3×3 cager Mac Tallo rising to No. 72 in the world with his 149,120 points.

Meanwhile, Serbia and its decorated club Ub remained as the No. 1 3×3 federation and team, respectively with Strahinja Stojacic, Dejan Majstorovic and Marko Brankovic as the top three players in the world. — John Bryan Ulanday