The first-ever Chooks-to-Go 3x3 Asia Pacific Super Quest will happen this weekend at SM Megamall with the spotlight being on the two Philippine teams participating - Pasig Grindhouse Kings and 1Bataan Risers.
The two squads made a name for themselves during the inaugural Chooks-to-Go Pilipinas 3x3 President's Cup, the Philippines' first 3x3 basketball league with Pasig taking the crown and Bataan finishing as runners-up They carry the country's pride and hopes as they take on some of the best 3x3 players in the world.
Already assured of a slot in the 2019 FIBA World Tour Masters in Doha, the Grindhouse Kings are our main contenders against tough competition. They are headlined by Joshua Munzon, the top 3x3 player in the country. The athletic scorer has wowed audiences with his array of moves and penchant for making difficult baskets. Taylor Statham, who has been a consistent two-way threat for Pasig in the five legs of the President's Cup, will be tested against bigger and more experienced foes. Completing the core of Pasig is the all-hustle and all-effort big man Troy Rike. The three Filipino-Americans will get a chance to represent the country on the international stage.
The Grindhouse Kings will be reinforced by Nikola Pavlovic. The 6'5" standout out of Serbia is absolutely no stranger to 3x3 play with 243 games under his belt. He previously played for the Novi Sad Al Wahda, the world's best 3x3 team.
Pasig is grouped with Absolute 3x3 of Chinese Taipei and Indonesia's Jakarta West Bandits.
For Taipei, Chu Yun-Hao is someone to watch out for. At the young age of 21, he is the country's top-ranked player. Joining him are number two Lin Kuan-Chun and standouts Lin Chun-Chi and Hsieh Ya Hsuan. As for Indonesia, all four players will make their debuts in FIBA 3x3 competition. The four-man squad of Christian Ronaldo Sitepu, Martavious Irving, Qa'rraan Calhoun, and Savon Rafriyq Goodman will look to make a strong impact for Indonesia.
The opponents of the Grindhouse Kings in the first leg of elimination round will be relatively easier compared to the opponents of the 1Bataan Risers who will be grouped with Hong Kong and powerhouse Japan.
Anytours M1 of Hong Kong will have three players of American descent - Joshua Floyd Walker, Terrence Jones, and Regie Okosa, who fans might remember as a reinforcement for Alab Pilipinas of the ABL. Completing the lineup for Hong Kong is Tsang Wing Lun, the 124th-ranked player in the world.
Japan's 3x3.Exe.Premier club meanwhile boasts of number one ranked Tomoya Ochiai. Famously known as "The Worm" in 3x3 play, the 6-foot-5 versatile playmaker is also number 93 in the world. Masahiro Komatsu, Japan's third best player will also join the competition alongside Keita Suzuki, who has the most experience for the locals with 196 games across his name. The Japanese trio will have more firepower at their disposal with Petar Perunovic joining the fray. Perunovic is Serbia's 14th ranked player and the world's 45th.
Though the competition might look steep, the 1Bataan Risers won't back down. College basketball greats Alvin Pasaol and Santi Santillan have proven that they can carry their game from the UAAP to the 3x3 hardwood. The two will be bolstered by key additions in Karl Dehesa and Travis Franklin. Dehesa was part of the Philippine contingent that competed in the World Championship back in 2016 while Franklin is a 6-foot-6 workhorse in the paint.
Another squad that the Philippine contingent should be wary about is Ulaanbaatar.
The Mongolian team will feature their four best players in the country. Tsenguunbayar Gotov is the top-ranked player and he is also 53rd in the world. Second-ranked Dulguun Enkhbat, who put Mongolia in the 3x3 map back in 2017 with his MVP performance in the Asia Cup, will also make his way to the Philippines. Completing the already talent-loaded roster are number three Delgernyam Davaasambuu and number four Tserenbaatar Enkhtaivan. Fans might remember this quarter as they competed in the FIBA 3x3 World Cup last year at the Philippine Arena where they finished eighth overall.
Both the Risers and Grindhouse Kings will get a chance to represent the Philippines against a number of the world's best 3x3 players from April 6 to 7 at the SM Megamall Fashion Hall. A lot will be at stake this weekend as the winner of the Asia Pacific Super Quest will not only take of USD 20,000 but more importantly, book a ticket to both the FIBA 3X3 World Tour Masters Doha from April 18 to 19 and the Challenger Series in Penang from May 12 to 13.