The Manila Chooks TM will not be able to compete in the FIBA 3x3 Lipik Challenger after they were not able to secure their Croatian visas.
This means the quartet of Chico Lanete, Mac Tallo, Zach Huang, and Dennis Santos will have to sit this competition out and prepare for the next one.
"There are things that we have no control of and this is one of them," shared Chooks 3x3 owner Ronald Mascariñas. "Since 2019, this is the first time that we had to pull out from a FIBA 3x3 tournament and the players were really looking forward to it.
"But the challenges of the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic made it hard for us to obtain our delegation’s visas."
The Philippines does not have a Croatian Embassy which meant the passports of the Chooks-to-Go Manila team had to be sent to the nearest one located in Jakarta, Indonesia. The passports were transmitted last May 7 but the visas have yet to arrive as of press time.
Manila Chooks TM, which was supposed to compete in the qualifying draw, had been preparing well for the tournament, doing it inside a bubble set-up at the Lucena Convention Center in Quezon.
"The boys have been raring to bounce back after Doha but there are things na hindi natin kontrolado. We just have to bounce back, that's all we can do right now," said Manila Chooks TM head trainer Aldin Ayo.
FIBA 3x3 has yet to announce when and where the next pro circuit will be.
In the meantime, Chooks-to-Go Pilipinas 3x3 is set to begin the planning for its first conference this year. Manila Chooks TM is slated to compete in the domestic league along with teams from the MPBL, VisMin Super Cup, and NBL-Pilipinas.
"We are looking to have a bigger tournament this year and our team is already looking at possible locations to host our first conference which will be the President's Cup. A lot will be at stake in the tournament, which will include slots in the 2021 Chooks-to-Go FIBA 3x3 Manila Masters," said Mascariñas, who is also planning another Super Quest this year. (JNP)