The country’s first-ever professional 3x3 league — Chooks-to-Go Pilipinas 3x3 — got started on its bid to return to action after seven teams went through testing and then practice in Quezon City.
Since the ball got rolling on Monday, seven teams have already gone through their first polymerase chain reaction (PRC) testing at the Philippine Children's Medical Center in Quezon City.
Zamboanga City Family's Brand Sardines, Zamboanga Peninsula Valientes, Gapan Chooks, and Bacolod Master Sardines had their testing last Monday while Nueva Ecija Rice Vanguards, Pasig-Sta. Lucia Realtors, Palayan City Capitols, and Porac-Big Boss Cement Green Gorillas had it Wednesday, August 26, 2020.
The remaining teams, Bicol Volcanoes, Sarangani Marlins, Val City Classic, and a special select team will have theirs on Friday and Monday next week.
"Nagkaroon kami ng staggered testing. Yesterday, four teams tested then today we had another four teams. So staggered din 'yung pag-practice ng teams (We practiced staggered testing. That meant that the practice of the teams were also staggered)," said league commissioner Eric Altamirano.
Except for the Valientes, the first batch who had their tests Monday were able to hold their first practice Wednesday at the UP Epsilon Chi Gymnasium also in Quezon City.
Several Cebuanos got their taste of training sessions including former University of Cebu big man Alfred Batino, who plays for Bacolod and ex-University of the Visayas forward Leonard Santillan who is suiting up for Zamboanga Family's Brand Sardines.
The court was disinfected every time a team ended its session. Supervising the sessions were Altamirano and Games and Amusement Board chairman Baham Mitra.
Before they could get inside the venue, each athlete was given a rapid test with everyone testing negative. Then they signed up for GET Philippines' contact-tracing app.
"We would like to thank my alma mater University of the Philippines for offering their venue to us and, of course, GET Philippines," said league owner Ronald Mascariñas.
"It's during this first week where we will see if there are things that we can adjust with our system before we get back to the games itself."
The league is also looking at another practice facility once all teams have been tested.
Currently, the league is on track to open the President’s Cup on October 2 at the Inspire Academy in Calamba, Laguna. (JNP)