3x3 takes over the Philippines at Chooks to Go Manila Challenger
MANILA (Philippines) – No less than 5 Filipino squads aim to make some noise, as they battle elite 3x3 talent at the Chooks to Go Manila Challenger on September 7-8, 2019.
In amongst what promises to be a thrilling atmosphere, twelve teams will compete across the two-day event in the Filipino capital city and there will be plenty at stake. The winner and runner up of the competition will join the World Tour and feature at the Jeddah Masters in Saudi Arabia on October 18-19.
As the case that the accomplished natives Balanga Chooks reach the final of the competition, qualification to Jeddah will fall to the team that finishes third. This is after Balanga managed to earn their ticket to the tour in July, to join Japan’s Utsunomiya and North Jakarta of Indonesia at the event in the Middle East.
One team surely hoping to prove a point will be their compatriots – Pasig Chooks. Led by the excellent Joshua Monzon, Pasig have proven their ability to compete against some of the greatest touring teams on earth and that is exactly who they will face.
The hard-nosed Riga Ghetto of Latvia are a team to be reckoned with. The #2 ranked team in the world actually faced Pasig earlier this year, defeating the 21-15 in a well-fought game. Winning 16 of the 23 World Tour games so far this season, they arrive in Manila as clear favourites. Starring for Riga will be 25-year-old phenomenon Karlis Lasmanis, who currently sits on top of player rankings.
The second seed comes in the form of Dutch side, Amsterdam. They will be bolstered by two recent roster additions – Ties Theeuwkens and Jesse Markusse. The duo will look to build immediate on-court chemistry with Dimeo Van Der Horst and Sjoerd Van Vilsteren, who have firmly established their name on the circuit. Also welcoming new talent, Kranj from Slovenia have added American Cecil Brown to their ranks, in hope that he will make a significant difference in their hopeful path to Jeddah.
Mongolian outfit, Ulaanbaatar MMC Energy will certainly have a spring in their step, having recently qualified for the Los Angeles Masters powered by L.A Times, by placing 3rd at the Inje Challenger in South Korea. Another team aiming to carry over their recent form is France’s Lyon, who put on an honourable show at the Lausanne Masters in August.
An up-and-coming team to keep your eye on will be Antwerp from Belgium, who have shown real signs of promise and will see contention in this Challenger as a true sign of progress.
The Philippines will be represented heavily in Manila, with a total of five native teams taking part. Along with the aforementioned Pasig and Balanga, the tournament will also host Isabela City Chooks, Zamboanga and Narvacan City - a team led by former Philippines international and NBA draftee, Marcus Douthit. The domestic teams will likely create an added level of excitement around the event, as the home crowd gets behind them.
Teams also featuring in the competition are Russia’s Gagarin, Belgrade NetTV of Serbia, Humpolec Bernard from the Czech Republic, Australia’s Melbourne iAthletic and Jakarta South.
On top of making their way to Jeddah, teams will be incentivised by the $15,000 that awaits whoever emerges victorious from the event. 3x3 fans can expect a fiercely contested competition from some of the game’s most promising.