CEBU Chooks will fly Croatia to compete in the International Basketball Federation (FIBA) 3×3 Lipik Challenger.
The level nine-FIBA 3×3 tournament is set from July 22 to 23 in Lipik, Pozesko-slavonska zupanija, Croatia. it will serve as a qualifier for the Lausanne Masters.
This will also be Cebu Chooks’ first tournament since the highly-successful Chooks-to-Go FIBA 3×3 Manila Masters.
Leading the charge for Cebu Chooks will be the country’s top 3×3 player, Mac Tallo, who is currently ranked 78th in the world.
“Hindi naman kami nawala sa kondisyon since nung Manila Masters. Lagi pa rin kami nag-eensayo at mas gutom kami ngayon para makabawi,” the Cebuano Tallo said.
Rounding out the squad which has been training under Coach Aldin Ayo are Brandon Ramirez, Zach Huang and Mike Nzeusseu.
The team will be up against top-notch competition in the Lipik Challenger which features 16 teams from 12 countries. Eight of these teams are in the top 30 in the world.
Cebu Chooks will be quite familiar with world No. 2 Liman of Serbia, No. 5 Riga of Latvia and No. 11 Ulaanbaatar of Mongolia, three teams that the team faced in different tournaments this year.
Other teams to watch out for are world No. 6 Šakiai and No. 15 Marijampolė of Lithuania, No. 14 Düsseldorf of Germany and No. 23 Merksem of Belgium. Potential dark horses are Zagreb from the host country Croatia, French team Paris and Washington DC from the US.
“It’s good to see the team heading back to the road again after the FIBA 3×3 break. We hope that the team shows no rust as this is the beginning of our teams’ second half of the year grind,” Chooks-to-Go president Ronald Mascariñas said.
Besides a ticket to Lausanne, the champion team will bag $15,000 while the second and third placers will bring home $10,000 and 6,000, respectively. The fourth ($5,000) and fifth placers ($4,000) will also be rewarded.