FIBA 3×3: Cebu Chooks to compete in Lipik Challenger

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Cebu Chooks will be going to Croatia to compete in the 2022 FIBA 3×3 Lipik Challenger.

The level nine-FIBA 3×3 tournament that will take place from July 22 to 23 in Lipik, Pozesko-slavonska zupanija, Croatia and will serve as a qualifier for the 2022 FIBA 3×3 World Tour Lausanne Masters.

This will also be Cebu Chooks’ first tournament since the highly-successful Chooks-to-Go FIBA 3×3 Manila Masters.

Leading the charge for Cebu Chooks is still the country’s top 3×3 player, Mac Tallo, who is currently ranked No. 78 in the world.

“Hindi naman kami nawala sa kondisyon since nung Manila Masters. Lagi pa rin kami nag-eensayo at mas gutom kami ngayon para makabawi,” Tallo said.

Rounding out the Aldin Ayo-coached squad are Philippines No. 2 Zach Huang, Brandon Ramirez, and Mike Nzeusseu.

The team will be up against top-notch competition in the Lipik Challenger which features 16 teams from 12 different countries. Eight of these teams are in the top 30 in the world.

Cebu Chooks will be quite familiar with world No. 2 Liman of Serbia, No. 5 Riga of Latvia, and No. 11 Ulaanbaatar of Mongolia, three teams that Cebu Chooks has faced in different tournaments this year.

Other teams to watch out for are world no. 6 Šakiai and no. 15 Marijampolė of Lithuania, no. 14 Düsseldorf of Germany, and no. 23 Merksem of Belgium. Potential dark horses in the competition are Zagreb from the host country Croatia, the French team Paris, and Washington DC from the US.

“It’s good to see the team heading back to the road again after the FIBA 3×3 break. We hope that the team shows no rust as this is the beginning of our teams’ second half of the year grind,” Chooks-to-Go president Ronald Mascariñas said.

Besides a ticket to Lausanne, the champion team will bag $15,000 while the second and third place finishers will bring home $10,000 and 6,000, respectively. The fourth ($5,000) and fifth place ($4,000) will also be rewarded.

Contributed photo

Nguyễn J. Văn Linh (Levi Verora)