CEBU CITY -- Chooks-to-Go Pilipinas 3x3 made sure to bring the all-star feel at the SM Seaside City, Sunday.
Besides holding a lavish opening ceremony that celebrated Filipino culture through dance, league owner Ronald Mascariñas upped the ante for the 2019 Patriot's Cup presented by Coca-Cola itself, making a surprise announcement.
"To the players, I have an announcement. The team that gathers the most points in all five legs will qualify for the qualifying draw of the 2019 Jeddah Masters while the runner up will automatically be seeded in the Xiong'An Challenger," Mascariñas said.
The Jeddah Masters takes place on October 18 to 19 and is the ultimate leg before the World Tour Finals in Utsonomiya, Japan. On the other hand, the Xiong'An Challenger, a tournament that is set from August 23 to 24 in China, is a qualifier for the Los Angeles Masters.
Mascariñas also raised the prize pool for the second conference of the country's first-ever 3x3 league.
The winner of the fifth leg's grand finals will still take home a cool P1,000,000. On the other hand, the runners-up bags P400,000 -- up by 150,000 from the President's Cup. Finally, the third-placed squad will bring P200,000 home.
The 12 squads, namely hosts MAX4-Cebu Birada and SWU Cobras; Gold's Gym-Pasig Kings; Wilkins Balanga Pure; MiGuard-Vigan Wolves; Zamboanga Valientes MLV; Thunder Pateros Hunters; Phenom-Basilan Steel; Mindoro Tamaraws; Inoza-Gulf Supreme Bulacan Boosters; Tycoon-Quezon City Ballers; and VetHealth-Delhi 3BL, were presented.
"Our goal is not just to entertain but to help out the SBP in raising much-needed 3x3 points for the country in our quest to make it to the 2020 Tokyo Olympics," said Mascariñas as the Philippines went down to 34 after going up to as high as 31 during the end of the President's Cup.
Also gracing the event were the Cebuano Hotshot and councilor Dondon Hontiveros, Coca-Cola corporate affairs head Juan Lorenzo Tanada, and league commissioner Eric Altamirano.
"Maraming salamat sa Chooks-to-Go dahil tinutulungan niyo ang ating mga atleta, at mas lalo na kami dito sa Cebu, na makalaro sa sport na ito," said Hontiveros.
"On behalf of Coca-Cola, it's good to be back in sports," said Tanada, on the other hand. "Our company has been fully behind the 3x3 team of Mongolia. From a football country, Mongolia has also become a world power in 3x3 basketball.
"And we are planning to do the same for our country. Alam namin na aangat tayo sa 3x3 basketball dahil ito ang sport ng Pilipino."
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