The Chooks-to-Go Pilipinas 3x3 is scheduled to start with the President's Cup on February 16 at the SM Megamall Event Center.
It will feature six legs with the overall winner getting the top cash prize of P1 million. Moreover, the top performers of the league will also get the chance to represent the country in various FIBA 3x3 competitions all over the world.
The 12 participating squads are the Bacoor Strikers, Bataan Risers, Bulacan Kuyas, Cebu-Max 4 Birada, Manila Stars, Marikina Shoemasters, Pasig Grindhouse Kings, Quezon City-Zark's Jawbreakers, San Juan-Go for Gold, Valenzuela Classic, Vigan Baluarte Zoo, and Zamboanga Valientes.
"I want to thank the team owners for your trust and support for the league," said league owner Ronald Mascarinas at the press conference on Monday. "Our objective is to exude love for our country and our countrymen and to promote nationalism through sports and we will be using this league to deliver the message."
The conference schedule is as follows:
February 16: First Tour (SM Megamall Event Center)
February 24: Second Tour (SM Megamall Event Center)
March 1: Third Tour (SM Fairview Event Center)
March 9: Fourth Tour (SM Megamall Event Center)
March 31: Fifth Tour (SM Fairview Event Center)
April 6: Grand Finals (SM Megamall Event Center)
All tournament legs will be aired live on ESPN5 as confirmed by TV5 President and CEO Vincent "Chot" Reyes.
"We've had a long-standing partnership with Chooks to Go that started three years ago with Gilas Pilipinas and even with the Batang Gilas program and we're happy to continue working together to give our basketball players the biggest stage possible to showcase their talents," said Reyes.
The games will also be available via streaming and it will be on high-definition according to ESPN5 Head Lloyd Manaloto.
"The dream is to make it to the 2020 Tokyo Olympics and we feel that this is another route we can try alongside our Gilas team also gunning for a spot in five-on-five," Mascarinas added. "The best way to qualify outright is to gather as many points as possible according to FIBA 3x3's rules and we can do that by registering more players and competing in more games. We also hope that we could host a FIBA 3x3 event this year here in the country."
Pasig Grindhouse tops preseason tournament
Days after finding out he did not make a roster to start the 44th Season of the PBA, Dylan Ababou quickly scampered to look for somewhere to suit up for. Fortunately, he found himself a new home in the Pasig Grindhouse Kings who were crowned champions of the Chooks-to-Go Pilipinas 3x3 Pre-Season Tournament on Monday.
Ababou, who was flanked by three young talents in Joshua Munzon, Taylor Statham, and Troy Rike, edged San Juan-Go for Gold composed of veterans Mac Cardona, John Wilson, Larry Rodriguez, and youngster Michael Ayonayon.
Pasig survived an intense matchup, winning 21-17, with Ababou powering their offense with 10 points in the game.
"It's been a while since I won something so this is a welcome development," Ababou said after his team received the P50,000 check for winning the tournament. "I told my younger teammates that we have to make winning a habit. We cannot get used to losing. We always have to maintain a high standard of play.
Ababou, who was fondly called "Tito Dylan" by his younger teammates said that he doesn't mind the nickname as long as they keep winning.
"My teammates might be younger but I was so happy with their performance. When I talked, they just listened so everything worked out for us," Ababou added.
It was a highly entertaining finals matchup with Cardona sending the crowd at the Ynares Sports Arena into a frenzy after he scored a floater over the taller Stathan followed by his usual "Anong height mo?" celebration. However, the younger squad was simply too much for the veterans with Statham finishing the game with a power move inside.
Pasig got into the finals by defeating Bataan Risers composed of collegiate stars Sean Manganti, Alvin Pasaol, Anton Asistio, and Santi Santillan. San Juan-Go for Gold, on the other end, defeated Vigan Baluarte Zoo.