Tolentino debuts in Penang

Cebu Chooks! players (from left) Brandon Ramirez, Mac Tallo, Vince Tolentino and Zach Huang are ready for action.

VINCE TOLENTINO will have his baptism of fire with an all-Filipino Cebu Chooks! crew that will vie in the FIBA 3×3 Penang Challenger on September and to 11.

The 6-foot-5 all-around forward out of Ateneo will join the country’s No. 1  Mac Tallo, No. 2 Zach Huang and No. 4  Brandon Ramirez in the Level 9 FIBA 3×3 tournament that serves as a qualifier for the 2022 Paris Masters.

“I’m really excited as this will be my first-ever 3×3 tournament. Definitely looking forward to competing with my new teammates and representing the country,” Tolentino said. “I’ll do my best in fulfilling my role here in the team.”

Visa issues forced import Mike Nzeusseu out of the Malaysia event.

“This will be a good test for Cebu Chooks! on whether they can compete on their own. All of our efforts for the next month will be leading towards our hosting Chooks-to-Go FIBA 3×3 Cebu World Tour Masters and Penang will be a good test for our team,” said Chooks-to-Go president Ronald Mascariñas as the Cebu Masters will take place October 1 to 2 at SM Seaside.

Cebu Chooks! is bracketed in Pool A with Serbia’s Liman Huishan NE and Mongolia’s Zavkhan MMC Energy.

Cebu faces Mongolia’s second-best team at 4:10 p.m. on Saturday before squaring off against the second-best team in the world at 6:50 p.m.

The top two teams will advance to the knockout stages of the tournament which has a $40,000 prize pool.

“I will use this tournament as my gauge on who will compose the Cebu team for the Cebu Masters,” head trainer Chico Lanete said. “Hopefully, we can bounce back in this tournament and gain momentum for our hosting.”

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