FIBA 3×3: Cebu Chooks seeks redemption in Tainan Challenger

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Cebu Chooks will look to get back on track when it flies out this Friday for the FIBA 3×3 World Tour 2022 Tainan City Challenger set to take place on October 22-23 at the Siraya Square in Tainan City Hall, Taiwan.

During the Chooks-to-Go Pilipinas FIBA 3×3 World Tour Cebu Masters last October 1-2, the Cebu Chooks squad dropped both its games in the group stage and failed to make it to the knockout round — a disappointing finish for the Filipino selection.

This time around, a roster made up of the country’s top 3×3 player and world No. 81 Mac Tallo, Brandon Ramirez, and Mike Harry Nzeusseu will be joined by former Ateneo captain Vince Tolentino in a tournament where the two finalists will earn tickets to the World Tour Hongkong Masters slated for November 26-27.

The Chico Lanete-coached group is part of the main draw of the Tainan City Challenger where it is the ninth-seeded team in a crack field composed of some of the best in the world.

“Bounce back, that’s the marching order to us by our team owner Ronald Mascariñas,” Lanete said. “We are in the tail-end of the 2022 season so we need to finish strong.”

“Hopefully, Vince can bring to the team what we lacked in the Cebu Masters, which is the hustle plays and the outside shooting,” the head trainer added.

Cebu is once again in a group with no pushovers, with no less than the world’s top-ranked side in Ub of Serbia battling them along with rising regional power Utsonomiya Brex of Japan.

Cebu Masters runner-up Antwerp of Belgium will also be in the competition and shall be bannered by the identical roster.

Aside from the Japanese side, two other teams which joined the Chooks-to-Go-organized Cebu Masters will also be in Taipei: Ulaanbaatar of Mongolia and Jeddah of Saudi Arabia.

The other title contenders are world no. six Sakiai of Lithuania, world no. 10 Belgrade of Serbia, and Chooks-to-Go Pilipinas World Tour Manila Masters quarterfinalist Warsaw of Poland.

The Tainan Challenger will be the latest campaign in what has been a busy year for Cebu Chooks, having participated in two Challengers and four Quest events so far, on top of the Manila and Cebu Masters.

Photo from Chooks-to-Go Pilipinas

Nguyễn J. Văn Linh (Levi Verora)