While the Family’s Brand Sardines-Zamboanga City and the Uling Roasters-Butuan City are heavily favored to win it all in the Chooks-to-Go Pilipinas 3x3 President's Cup, nothing is guaranteed in the Grand Finals on Friday, October 30, at the INSPIRE Academy in Laguna.
After all, there’s a bevy of contenders waiting in the wings, and with the tournament’s exciting format, the competition is expected to be fiery. Already slotted in the quarterfinals are Zamboanga City and Butuan City, as well as the Nueva Ecija Rice Vanguards and Pasig-Sta. Lucia Realtors.
However, that doesn't mean the road will be easy as the eight other teams will still go all-out in the Grand Finals that starts at 11 a.m.
"We expect that any team can go all the way. We don't underestimate any team," said Butuan’s top gun Franky Johnson about the level playing field. "We respect all these teams and what can they do."
Butuan City seized the second-seed after accumulating 330 points in the first four legs while the top-seed went to Family's Brand Sardines with 345 points. Nueva Ecija and Pasig are the third- and fourth-seeds, respectively.
They await the winners in the four knockout bouts with Big Boss Cement-Porac MSC Green Gorillas and Zamboanga Peninsula Valientes MLV kicking off the last leg.
That will then be followed by matchups between Palayan City Capitals and MLV Pagadian Rocky Sports, Sarangani Marlins and Petra Cement-Roxas ZN Rockies, and Bacolod-Master Sardines and Bicol Paxful 3x3 Pro.
The quarterfinals, semifinals, and Finals will all be knockout matches with the best of the best taking home the title of top 3x3 team in the Philippines.
All eyes will be on Zamboanga City if they can win it all after winning three of the first four legs as well as the preseason tournament of the FIBA 3x3-endorsed competition which is supervised by the Games and Amusements Board and sanctioned by the Samahang Basketbol ng Pilipinas.
"We're going for the championship. We have all the talent, all the tools, all the experience to do it," said Troy Rike, speaking for teammates Joshua Munzon, Alvin Pasaol, and Cebuano Santi Santillan.
"It's not gonna be easy. Other teams are gonna go for it too, but for us, we're gunning for that championship," Rike added.
The Grand Finals second-placer will bag P300,000 and the third-placer will receive P100,000. (JNP)