'3x3 belongs in PH,' says FIBA boss

ABS-CBN News

Posted at Feb 17 2020 05:44 PM

Bounty Agro Ventures Inc. president Ronald Mascariñas and FIBA 3x3 head Ignacio Soriano. Handout

MANILA, Philippines – Three months before the World Tour Masters returns to Manila, FIBA's head of 3x3 basketball Ignacio Soriano arrived in the country to inspect the progress of the preparations.

The FIBA 3x3 Chooks-to-Go Manila Masters takes place on May 2-3 at the SM Megamall Fashion Hall in Pasig City.

"For us, Chooks-to-Go has been having excellent 3x3 activities," Soriano noted. "Last year, they sent teams in the World Tour."

"So we believe that it's a great move to be back here with Chooks-to-Go on our side. 3x3 really belongs here," he added.

Chooks-to-Go has pioneered a local 3x3 league, while also sending teams to numerous World Tour Masters and Challengers. The Philippines has also hosted events, such as the world's first Super Quest and the Manila Challenger.

This paved the way for the country to rack up points that eventually led to a berth in the Olympic qualifying tournament in India in March.

"2019 has been a special year for the Philippines in 3x3," Soriano said. "Chooks-to-Go has been a great partner in pushing the sport to grow."

"2020 is going to be much more special for the Philippines," he predicted.

With this, FIBA 3x3 and Chooks-to-Go strengthened their ties for another banner year.

Besides heavily preparing for the OQT, Chooks-to-Go is also preparing for the 2020 season of its league that begins in March. In addition, it has partnered with the Women's National Basketball League for a tournament for the country's female players.

"The main purpose of this is to discuss our preparation for the Manila Masters. We are just so glad that FIBA is strengthening its ties with us," said Ronald Mascariñas, the president of Bounty Agro Ventures Inc.

Mascariñas can't wait to welcome the world's top 3x3 teams to the country, including reigning World Tour champion Novi Sad of Serbia and world No. 9 Sakiai Guldel of Lithuania.

"It's really a treat for Filipino basketball fans as the best clubs in the world are playing on our soil. It will also be a huge boost for our points, this time for the Paris Olympics," he said.

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