CEBU – New teams, foreign reinforcements, same intense 3×3 basketball action.
This is what the second conference of Chooks-to-Go Pilipinas 3×3 promises to bring as it opens the Patriot’s Cup presented by Coca-Cola on Sunday, June 16 at the SM Seaside City here.
Just like the President’s Cup, 12 teams will compete in the FIBA Quest-level tournament that will have five legs.
This time around, each team will have the option to field a foreign reinforcement. Moreover, there will be two foreign guest teams competing in this tourney, namely 14th-ranked VetHealth-Delhi 3BL of India and 20th-ranked Moscow Inanomo of Russia.
“We invited two topflight foreign teams to our league to raise the level of our local teams,” said league owner Ronald Mascariñas. “We definitely want to learn from them while sharing our experiences to them as well.”
VetHealth-Delhi 3BL will immediately plunge into action right in the first leg while Moscow Inanomo will only get to join the league on June 23 at SM Megamall.
With this, host Cebu got a chance to field two squads for the opening leg. Besides the returning MAX4-Cebu Birada (Darell Menina, Mark-Gil Panerio, Rich Managor, Elmer Echavez Jr.), the Southwestern University Cobras quartet of Shaq Imperial, Dyul Roncal, Red Cachuela, and Lamine Thiam will also be competing.
“Hopefully, the Cebuanos come out to support their two teams for this leg,” expressed Mascariñas, who will be joined by Coca-Cola’s Corporate Affairs head Juan Lorenzo Tanada, league commissioner Eric Altamirano, and Cebuano Hotshot councilor Dondon Hontiveros for the opening ceremony that begins at 12:00 nn and will be shown live over at ESPN5.
The returning squads are headlined by World Tour veterans Gold’s Gym-Pasig Kings and Wilkins Balanga Pure, who will have Nikola Pavlovic and Prince Orizu as imports respectively.
Also set to return are the MiGuard-Vigan Wolves, Zamboanga Valientes MLV, and Marikina Shoemasters.
The Shoemasters though will miss the opening leg and will be replaced by guest team Thunder Pateros Hunters.
Headlining the debuting teams are the Phenom-Basilan Steel. Basilan will field the quartet of Troy Rike, Roosevelt Adams, Franky Johnson, and Marcus Hammonds.
Completing the cast are the Mindoro Tamaraws, the Inoza-Gulf Supreme Bulacan Boosters, and the Tycoon-Quezon City Ballers.
Slotted in Pool A for the first leg are Gold’s Gym-Pasig, Inoza-Gulf Supreme Bulacan, and Thunder Pateros while joining Wilkins-Balanga in Pool B are Mindoro and SWU.
Host team Max4-Cebu, Phenom-Basilan, and MiGuard-Vigan compose Pool C while welcoming VetHealth-Delhi are Zamboanga MLV and Tycoon-QC.
The top team in each group will advance to the knockout semifinals.
The winning team will bring home PHP 100,000.
Pool play begins at 10:45 am and will be shown on livestream over at ESPN5.com.
Also taking place are the shootout and slam dunk competitions.