Pro 3×3 league to set up own bubble
Even with the elevation of the status of the Chooks-To-Go Pilipinas 3×3 as a professional league, players in the pool will need to go through the regular draft process should they decide to move to the Philippine Basketball Association (PBA).
Prospects like Joshua Munzon, Alvin Pasaol, Troy Rike, Santi Santillan and Frankie Johnson, all of whom skipped the PBA draft last year, are now considered pros after the 3×3 league’s application was granted by the Games and Amusements Board (GAB) headed by Chair Abraham Mitra.
The new pro league was also given permission to hold individual training like the PBA and football, but the 3X3 league announced that it will be playing its second season in September in a “bubble” of its own in Calamba, Laguna province.
Commissioner Eric Altamirano said that his league’s bubble concept will be similar to the NBA’s in the United States.
League officials have already conducted an ocular inspection of the Inspire Sports Academy, owned by National University, as its site for its games.
PBA commissioner Willie Marcial said the door will always remain open for these players should they decide to play in Asia’s pioneering basketball league.
“Of course, they have to go through the Draft,” Marcial told the Inquirer when asked if the status of the Chooks league will have an effect on 3×3 players also hoping to eventually take their act to the PBA.
“We respect the fact that the GAB granted them (Chooks 3×3) the status as a professional league.”
The PBA is also planning its own 3×3 league, but those plans remain on hold due to the COVID-19 pandemic that also suspended the league’s 45th season in March.
Just like the PBA, which has already been cleared for team workouts under strict health guidelines, the Chooks 3×3 league was also given the green light by the GAB to resume training with Munzon and Pasaol as part of the national team bidding to claim a spot in the Tokyo Olympics next year.
PBA players CJ Perez of Columbian Dyip and Mo Tautuaa of San Miguel make up the quartet for the Olympic qualifiers set in Austria next year.
Altamirano said the approval of the GAB gives players a viable career option outside of the traditional five-on-five game.
“This will provide our players the opportunity to explore possibilities of a professional career in 3×3,” Altamirano said, noting that countries like New Zealand, Japan and Australia also have their own 3×3 leagues.
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