Toughened up by three straight quarterfinals stints, don’t expect an all-Filipino Manila Chooks! squad to let their guards down, especially in the last leg.
The Filipino 3×3 cagers go for broke on March 19 to 20 in the FIBA 3X3 Pro League Netherlands 2023 Winter Edition final at the Amsterdam Velodrome.
Bannered by No. 1 Mac Tallo, No. 3 Dennis Santos, CJ Payawal, and Matt Salem, stepping up for injured big man Brandon Ramirez (knee), Manila Chooks! vies in the final stop of the FIBA level 8 tourney against opponents yet to be announced at press time yesterday.
The team fell short 13-21 against world No. 23 Warsaw Lotto 3×3 of Poland yesterday in the Last 8 of Stop 3.
The troops of head trainer Chico Lanete whipped the Netherlands’ Ijmuiden 21-13 behind Payawal’s nine points.
It was the first time that a Chooks! team reached the quarterfinals of an international tourney three straight times.
Santos and Salem also had five points each, while Tallo added two in Manila Chooks’ win against the Dutch side.
“Malaking tulong talaga itong pre-season games para ma-improve ang chemistry namin as a team and also para makita namin kung ano pa ang kailangan namin ma-improve individually,” Tallo said.
“Nakita din naman where we can adjust para maiwasan iyong gigil and inconsistencies sa laro namin. We will definitely be a better team pagpasok sa pro circuit,” he added.
The triumph also atoned for Manila Chooks’ 11-22 setback at the hands of Toronto of Canada last Friday in Pool B play.