The Manila Chooks TM, which features Cebuanos Macmac Tallo and Zach Huang, returns to action this weekend as they compete in the FIBA 3x3 World Tour Montreal Masters.
The competition will be Manila Chooks TM’s second tournament after they competed in the Doha Masters back on March 26. They were also supposed to compete in the FIBA 3×3 Lipik Challenger but visa issues prevented them from doing so. They are seeded 11th in a pack of 12 teams in the Toronto joust.
"The team is hungry to redeem themselves," said Chooks-to-Go president Ronald Mascariñas. "There have been a lot of challenges faced by the team brought about by the current pandemic but we are confident that frequent participation in the FIBA 3x3 pro circuit will only make the team stronger," he added.
Aside from Tallo and Huang, also on the team are Dennis Santos and cagey veteran Mark Yee. Chico Lanete will serve as the alternate. Due to the heightened quarantine in Luzon, head trainer Aldin Ayo has been limited to training the team online for the past month.
"With regards to conditioning, there will be no problem as we made sure that the players figured in high-intensity workouts," said Ayo. "The chemistry will also be there since the team has been together for three months already.
"But the tournament itself is a different beast. With the limitations that we have, we studied a lot of films on our possible opponents and we are hoping that the preparations translate to winning games," he continued.
World no. 2 Riga of Latvia headlines the field along with no. 4 Ub of Serbia, no. 7 Amsterdam of the Netherlands, no. 8 Antwerp of Belgium, and no. 10 Edmonton of Canada. Completing the field are USA's Princeton, Switzerland's Lausanne, Lithuania's Raudondvaris, Canada's Old Montreal, USA's Omaha, and one more team that will qualify through a Quest event.
"We are hoping for a good result in Montreal as this tournament will be the starting point for our domestic season," said Mascariñas. (JNP)