Despite early exit, Philippines shows it can compete against world’s best 3×3 teams
MANILA, Philippines—The Philippine teams may have failed to make a deep run in the 2019 Fiba 3×3 World Tour Masters, but they proved that they could keep up with the world’s best in the sport.
After a sizzling first day showing that saw Pasig Chooks and Balanga Chooks stunning top-ranked teams, they were stopped on their tracks by eventual champion Riga Ghetto, 15-21, and Liman, 21-19, respectively in the knockout playoff round late Friday.
But Chooks-to-Go Pilipinas 3×3 commissioner Eric Altamirano was none the less satisfied with what he saw from the Filipino bets.
“We made a statement that we belong here in the World Tour,” said Altamirano. “ “Seeing the level of play here and knowing that we can keep up with the world’s best, it will definitely make our players hungrier to get back in the next legs of the World Tour.
Pasig and Balanga went 2-0 in the group stages. The Chooks to Go Pilipinas 3×3 champions took down no. 1 team Liman while Balanga shocked Riga, 19-17, to kick of their campaign.
The Pasig quartet of Taylor Statham, Joshua Munzon, Angelo Tsagarakis, and Nikola Pavlovic claimed the fifth place to bring home $5,000 while Balanga’s Travis Franklin, Alvin Pasaol, Karl Dehesa, and Santi Santillan came in next in the 12-team meet.
Chooks-to-Go Pilipinas 3×3 league owner Ronald Mascariñas vowed to continue support to help raise the level of 3×3 basketball in the country.
“Now that we are back in the game, we will join every 3×3 tournament FIBA wants us to join,” he declared. “This is just the start for us. We will continue to raise the level of our league, hoping that one day we can be seen by the world as one of the elite 3×3 basketball countries.”
Pasig Chooks is schedule to play in Kunshan Challenger, a qualifier to the Chengdu Masters, from May 18 to 19.
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