Friday, October 30, 2020

Favorites advance in President's Cup Grand Finals quarterfinals

Nueva Ecija's Jai Reyes leads the Rice Vanguards

The top four teams of the 2020 Chooks-to-Go Pilipinas 3x3 President's Cup powered by TM took care of business inside the bubble at INSPIRE Sports Academy in Calamba on Friday, as they won their respective quarterfinal matchups.

The most competitive quarterfinal matchup saw second seed Uling Roasters-Butuan eke out a 16-15 win against Bacolod-Master Sardines, 16-15.

With the game tied at 11 inside the final two minutes, Chris de Chavez drew a foul from Robin Rono, and with Bacolod in the penalty, it meant free throws for Butuan. De Chavez would convert both to establish a 13-11 lead that they never relinquished.

Franky Johnson would then convert a two-pointer to make it a two-possession game at 15-11.

Although Rono and Alfred Batino would chop the deficit back down late, time ran out and Butuan held on for the victory.

Karl Dehesa and JR Alabanza led the way with five points each, as they booked a matchup against Nueva Ecija in the semifinals.

The third-seeded Rice Vanguards dispatched Petra Cement-Roxas ZN, 21-14 in just under seven minutes.

Gab Banal topped Nueva Ecija with nine points, while Mac Sabelina closed out strong with five of the last six Nueva Ecija points to ensure there will not be an upset in this round.

The other side of the semifinal bracket features heavy favorites Zamboanga City Chooks against Pasig-Sta. Lucia.

The Family's Brand Sardines-backed quartet needed just over eight minutes to lop off Big Boss Cement-Porac, 21-11. Zamboanga City started off strong with a 12-4 opening run and never looked back.

Joshua Munzon led the quartet with twelve points. He shared afterwards, "Just executed the gameplan. We just need to continue this in the next three games."

After his explosion in the play-in round, Dylan Ababou was limited to just four markers.

The fourth-seed Realtors rode on their outside shooting to dispatch Palayan City, 21-13. Jhaps Bautista converted three two-pointers on his way to seven points, with Jeckster Apinan and Cedrick Ablaza adding six markers each.

The Zamboanga City-Pasig matchup is a reprise of the leg three quarterfinal, which the Realtors pulled off the upset.

Roxas ZN stuns Sarangani in opening round of President's Cup Grand Final play

Roxas ZN celebrate.

The randomness of a "win or go home" was in full display at the play-in games at the Grand Final of the 2020 Chooks-to-Go Pilipinas 3x3 President's Cup powered by TM on Friday.

Petra Cement-Roxas ZN, who entered the Grand Final without a win in the previous four legs, pulled off a 21-17 victory over Sarangani to earn a spot in the quarterfinals.

With the game tied at 17, Janus Lozada scored back-to-back baskets to establish a two-point lead. Nikki Monteclaro then completed the upset by converting a line drive, top-of-the-arc two-pointer with just over fifty seconds remaining.

Gian Abrigo, who scored six points in the victory, shared afterwards, "Inisip lang namin yung mga talo namin nung Leg One to Leg Four. Natuto kami dun. Para sa amin talaga siguro ito. Yun talaga, sacrifice lang at collective effort."

They will have to deal with third seed Nueva Ecija in the quarterfinals.

Dylan Ababou led Big Boss Cement-Porac to a 21-14 victory over Zamboanga Peninsula MLV, needing almost seven minutes to score thirteen points. The Green Gorillas will have the tough task of dealing with heavy favorites Zamboanga City next.

Completing the quarterfinalists are Palayan City and Bacolod.

Bobby Balucanag outscored Pagadian City-Rocky Sports by himself with his eight points, as the Capitals easily took care of business in just over 6.5 minutes, 21-7.

With ten markers, Anton Asistio matched the output of Bicol-Paxful 3x3 Pro, while Alfred Batino added six more for the Masters Sardines-backed quartet's 21-10 win in just under six minuted.

Palayan City will face Pasig-Sta. Lucia, while Bacolod goes up against Uling Roasters-Butuan City.

The last two teams standings will have the right to play in the "Million Peso Game" later today.

Also scheduled to take place are the two TM side events: the Slam Dunk Contest and the Two-Point Shootout.

Thursday, October 29, 2020

Lanete ruled out of President's Cup Grand Final

No Chico Lanete for the Grand Final.

Juan Gomez de Liano is not the only one who will sit out the Grand Final of the 2020 Chooks-to-Go Pilipinas 3x3 President's Cup powered by TM.

Uling Roasters-Butuan City will be without Chico Lanete on Friday, as the veteran guard will be held out due to a swollen left shoulder.

According to the former PBA veteran, the injury happened during the fourth leg semifinal against Palayan City, and has since bothered him for the past couple of days.

The decision was made by the team to leave him out and field the quartet of Franky Johnson, Chris de Chavez, Karl Dehesa, and JR Alabanza for the good of the team, which has been seeded second and has earned a bye into the quarterfinals. This quartet has had experience during the President's Cup, as this combination was used in the second leg for a third place finish.

Chico shared during the league's Media Day on Thursday, "Napakabigat sa akin 'no kasi Grand Finals, siyempre, gusto ko talaga maglaro, pero wala akong choice. Mas healthy sila kaysa sa akin. 'Di ko naman ginusto magka-injury, pero may tiwala ako sa teammates ko."

Butuan City still believes they can manage, as according to team captain Dehesa, "Everyone in this team is a leader."

Nueva Ecija rules out Juan Gomez de Liano in President's Cup Grand Final

Juan Gomez de Liano only played one leg in the President's Cup so far.

Short-term loss for a long-term gain.

Nueva Ecija has made the decision to rule out Juan Gomez de Liano from the upcoming Grand Final of the 2020 Chooks-to-Go Pilipinas 3x3 President's Cup powered by TM.

Juan is still recovering from the right ankle sprain he suffered during the second leg of the tournament, and has yet to return to the 3x3 scene since.

He was hoping to be ready in time for the Grand Final, the final leg of the tournament that has a PhP 1M windfall for the winner. However, the Rice Vanguards physical therapist indicated that the twenty-year-old has yet to fully recover from his injury.

According to team manager Jai Reyes, "There’s so much to risk about his future. Although this as a major tournament for us and we really want to win, it’s unfair to him if pilitin namin siya lumaro."

He adds, "Gusto niyang lumaro, but the assessment is hindi pa niya kaya na full speed. We don't want to risk everything."

Although Gomez de Liano has been sidelined, he remains ever present for the Rice Vanguards. Reyes remarked, "For the past legs na 'di siya nakakalaro, he's always there to cheer us. He'll still be there tomorrow."

As third seeds in the Grand Final on Friday, Nueva Ecija will field Reyes, Gab Banal, Mac Sabelina, and Tonino Gonzaga as their quartet.

President's Cup Grand Final set

Troy Rike is ready.

The quest for the PhP 1M is at hand with the Grand Final of the 2020 Chooks-to-Go Pilipinas 3x3 President's Cup powered by TM slated for Friday morning inside the bubble at the INSPIRE Sports Academy in Calamba.

The Grand Final already has seeded the four best teams into the quarterfinals, based from the results of the four legs: Family's Brand Sardines-Zamboanga City Chooks (345 points), Uling Roasters-Butuan City (330 points), Nueva Ecija Rice Vanguards (240 points), and Pasig-Sta. Lucia Realtors (215 points).

And even though they each have earned their byes, all teams know that anything can change once the action begins.

Franky Johnson shared at the Media Day on Thursday, "We expect that any team can go all the way. We don't underestimate any team. We respect all these teams and what can they do."

Troy Rike says, "We're going for the championship. We have all the talent, all the tools, all the experience to do it. It's not gonna be easy. Other teams are gonna go for it too, but for us, we're gunning for that championship."

The remaining eight teams were then matched up as well based on their performance and will have to play themselves into the quarters.

8-seeds Big Boss Cement-Porac MSC and 9-seed Zamboanga Peninsula Valientes MLV kick things off, followed by 5-seed Palayan City Capitals against 12-seed MLV Pagadian Rocky Sports, 6-seed Sarangani Marlins against 11-seed Petra Cement-Roxas ZN Rockies, and 7-seed Bacolod-Master Sardines against 10-seed Bicol Paxful 3x3 Pro.

Considered as heavy favorites, Zamboanga City has already racked up PhP 350,000 in winnings from the previous legs. The tournament is considered as a major part of their preparations for their upcoming Olympic Qualifiers slated next year.

Aside from the PhP 1M windfall, the league will hand out PhP 300,000 for the losing finalist, and PhP 100,000 for the third place finisher.

The TM side events will also take place, with the trio of David Carlos, Darwin Cantong, and Jesus Manay battling it out once again for the PhP 20,000 Slam Dunk Contest, whilst PhP 10,000 awaits the winner of the Two-Point Shootout.

Coverage starts at 11am and will be streamed worldwide through FIBA 3x3 YouTube, Chooks-to-Go Pilipinas' Facebook page, and on BEAM TV Ch. 31.

Wednesday, October 28, 2020

UP Fighting Maroons tap Converge ICT for assistance in remote learning for UP students

Student-athletes from the University of the Philippines, particularly those from the Men's Basketball Team, are doing their share to help uplift their fellow undergraduates.

Through the NowheretogobutUP Foundation, as well as the team's newest supporter, Converge ICT Solutions, the team has made a commitment to assist scholars based in NCR and certain parts of Luzon with regards to meeting the requirements of remote learning.

In conjunction with the UP College of Human Kinetics, the UP Varsity Council, and the university's Kaapagay Sa Pag-Aaral Ng Mga Iskolar Ng Bayan program (#KaagapayUP), Converge is in the process of identifying deserving students in NCR and Luzon to become beneficiaries of said program, to which the up-and-coming internet service provider would subsidize their online connectivity expenses.

#KaagapayUP is the UP System's fundraising and resource-generating campaign targeted towards over 5,600 students having major difficulties with remote learning as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. With the adjustment towards online classes in order to minimize and mitigate the spread of the coronavirus, the ability to connect to the internet is a concern most undergraduates nationwide have to go through.

Converge ICT Solutions Founder and CEO Dennis Anthony Uy shares, "We plan to support the most challenged UP students throughout the duration of the remote learning setup, or at the very least, for two semesters. Phase 1 of the initiative will provide internet connection to 30 student-athletes for the whole academic year. As the first semester has already begun, we will begin installation of pure fiber internet in their homes, as soon as possible."

Uy adds, "The transition to remote learning is no easy feat, especially for those who lack the ample resources to study from home. We hope to ease the burden of those Iskolars ng Bayan who are most in need, some of whom are student-athletes, by providing them with fast and reliable internet connection so they can adjust well to remote learning. This is one way of showing our commitment to uplifting Filipino lives, by helping them #ExperienceBetter. This is why we are supporting #KaagapayUP."

He concludes, "We hope that, through this project, we can make this academic year more productive for the students. We at Converge and the UP Fighting Maroons have the students’ welfare in mind and we will join hands so we can all get through this hard time together."

According to CHK dean Francis Diaz, "Converge ICT’s offer to help is laudable and very well-timed because of the crucial need for connectivity during this remote learning phase of our new normal. Internet connection is at the heart of today’s learning process and is key to achieving institutional and personal educational objectives. This development is definitely deeply appreciated and most needed. The generosity of Converge will directly benefit a number of UP student-athletes who badly need this connectivity for their remote learning." He also thanked both Converge and the Men's Basketball Team for launching this initiative.

MBT manager Atty. Agaton Uvero also thanked Converge for their support of the team and act of generosity for the UP community. "We welcome Converge ICT as a new sponsor of the team and we thank them for thinking of the needs of many students and scholar-athletes during these trying times. The team is very happy to be a part of the project because they can directly help UP students and their fellow student-athletes. This is just the start of a fruitful partnership between the UPMBT, Converge, and the UP community."

Tuesday, October 27, 2020

Zamboanga City claims President's Cup fourth leg

Alvin Pasaol taking a jumper against Butuan City in the final.

Zamboanga City reclaimed its dominance of the Chooks Pilipinas 3x3 scene by claiming the fourth leg of the President's Cup powered by TM at the bubble inside the INSPIRE Sports Academy in Calamba.

The Family's Brand Sardines-backed team eked out a 21-20 victory over Butuan City on Tuesday, with Leonard Santillan nailing the clinching point off a free throw at the 7:27 mark.

That point was much needed after Chris de Chavez nailed back-to-back two pointers to tie things up at twenty. Zamboanga City had led 20-16 with a two-pointer from Joshua Munzon to cap off his eleven-point outing with 3.5 minutes left.

Munzon had the chance to win, but he missed the two-pointer. Santillan was fouled in claiming the offensive board, and with the Uling Roasters-backed side in the penalty, he converted the charity shot for his sixth point to clinch Zamboanga City's third title out of the four legs played.

He shared afterwards, "Nung unang game pa lang, bad start na kami so yung next games, kinailangan naming mag-adjust. Mula nun, binigay namin yung 100 percent."

Family’s Brand Sardines- Zamboanga City Chooks sits on the throne once more as it ruled over Leg 4 of the Chooks-to-Go Pilipinas 3x3 President’s Cup powered by TM.

Santi Santillan’s hustle keyed Zamboanga City’s return to the mountaintop, with his offensive rebound and ensuing free throw proving to be the difference against Butuan City, 21-20 (7:27), Tuesday inside the INSPIRE Sports Academy here.

“Nung unang game pa lang, bad start na kami so yung next games, kinailangan naming mag-adjust,” said Santillan. “Mula nun, binigay namin yung 100 percent.”

Troy Rike adds, "When we lost that game, I felt like the world was crashing down. But I just reminded myself that if we take care of business, we’re right we need to be even after a bump on the road."

The team, composed of the members of the national team pool for the Olympic Qualifiers, officially claimed the top seed in the Grand Final slated for later this week.

To make it to the final, Zamboanga City dispatched Zamboanga Peninsula, 21-16 in the quarterfinals and Sarangani in the semifinals, 21-13. Butuan City held off Nueva Ecija 21-20 in the quarters and Palayan City in the semis, 21-10.

Both teams received PhP 100,000, with Butuan earning the special incentive from Bounty Agro-Ventures, Inc. president Ronald Mascarinas for being the team that faced Zamboanga City in the finals.

De Chavez led all scorers with twelve points, while Karl Dehesa and JR Alabanza each added four points for Butuan City.

The success of both teams has allowed them to secure a bye into the quarterfinals, with the Rice Vanguards and Pasig-Sta. Lucia also snagging the remaining two available byes for Friday's Grand Final, which will feature the "Million Peso Game" at the end.

As for the remaining eight teams, they have been seeded into their respective play-in matches based from the results of all four legs.

As for the TM side events, Roider Cabrera nailed the second perfect round in the President's Cup to claim the title to defeat Karl Dehesa. He joins fellow Adamson and Petra Cement-Roxas ZN teammate Janus Lozada in pulling off the Two-Point Shootout feat.

For the Slam Dunk Contest, David Carlos claimed his third crown out of the four legs. 


ZAMBOANGA CITY 21 -- Munzon 11, Santillan 6, Pasaol 3, Rike 1.

BUTUAN CITY 20 -- De Chavez 12, Dehesa 4, Alabanza 4, Lanete 0.

Zamboanga City returns to Chooks 3x3 President's Cup semis

The Night King soars for a layup.

Falling short in the same round on the previous leg, Family's Brand Sardines-Zamboanga City Chooks made sure that history will not repeat itself, as they pulled off a 21-16 victory over Zamboanga Peninsula Valientes-MLV in the fourth leg of the 2020 Chooks-to-Go Pilipinas 3x3 President's Cup powered by TM on Tuesday.

Joshua Munzon took over for the national team pool quartet, scattering eleven points as the Valientes just unable to find an answer for the so-called Night King.

Rudy Lingganay kept hopes alive with a two-pointer to halve the deficit to 15-17, but Munzon sealed the deal with an and-1 followed by a couple of free throws.

The top-ranked Filipino in the FIBA 3x3 rankings shared afterwards, "We just gotta keep playing hard, keep giving everything we got. Every game we've played is rough, but all that matters is the win at the end of the day."

Troy Rike added five points in the victory, which pits them against Sarangani in the semifinals. The Marlins ousted Pasig-Sta. Lucia in their matchup, 21-15.

Marvin Hayes and Pamboy Raymundo sealed the deal for the first-time final four participants.

The other side of the semifinal brackets will feature third leg champions Butuan against Palayan City.

Uling Roasters-backed Butuan scored the final eight points of the game against Nueva Ecija, escaping with a 21-20 victory in just over eight minutes.

After a Tonino Gonzaga bucket put the Rice Vanguards on the hill at 20-13 with 3.5 minutes remaining, Butuan put the shackles on both Gab Banal and Jai Reyes, whilst the quartet of Chico Lanete, Karl Dehesa, JR Alabanza, and Chris de Chavez each nailed a two-pointer to snatch the win and keep their hopes of back-to-back leg victories.

Lanete shared after the matchup, "Sinabi ko sa kanila na wag ma-frustrate kasi may time pa naman nun. Nag all-out lang kami sa offense at defense nun."

Palayan City earned their spot in the final four after taking care of things against Big Boss Cement-Porac, 21-12. Renz Palma clinched it for the Capitals with a layup at the 7.5-minute mark.

Nueva Ecija tops Pool C in President's Cup fourth leg

Gab Banal steps up in the clutch for Nueva Ecija.

Already assured of a spot in the knockout rounds, Nueva Ecija made sure that they finished on top, escaping with a 21-19 victory over Pasig-Sta. Lucia in the final stretch of pool play of the 2020 Chooks-to-Go Pilipinas 3x3 President's Cup powered by TM on Tuesday.

The Realtors took advantage of the Rice Vanguards' penalty situation to erase an 10-17 deficit into an 18-17 lead.

However, Gab Banal stepped up with a couple of two-pointers to clinch the victory with just over a minute left. The ninth-ranked 3x3 player in the Philippines finished with eleven points.

He shared afterwards about allowing Pasig to come back from their deficit, "Mental lapse but it's tough to think when you're tired."

The win sets up Nueva Ecija's quarterfinal matchup against Butuan City, while Pasig will face Sarangani for their matchup.

The Uling Roasters-backed quartet kept their back-to-back leg championship hopes alive as they knocked out Bacolod-Master Sardines, 21-16.

Chris de Chavez led Butuan with eleven points. He shared about the mindset into their matchup against Bacolod, "Like I said, in the first game we didn't bring our one-hundred percent. We needed to bring our all in this game." They had lost their opening assignment to Sarangani earlier in the day, 19-21.

Zamboanga City continued their impressive form in the fourth leg, needing just over five minutes to demolish Pagadian City-Rocky Sports, 21-7. The win sets up a matchup against Zamboanga Peninsula in the quarterfinals.

Big Boss Cement-Porac nipped the Valientes, 21-19 in the other remaining pool matchup. The Green Gorillas will face Palayan City in the quarterfinals.

Aside from the knockout rounds, the TM side events will still take place, the Two-Point Shootout, and the Slam Dunk Contest.

In a battle of the last two runners-up in the 2020 Chooks-to-Go Pilipinas 3x3 President’s Cup powered by TM, it was Gab Banal who proved to be the difference.

The ninth-ranked 3x3 player in the country did not allow Nueva Ecija to fall to Pasig-Sta. Lucia, carrying his side to a thrilling 21-19 (8:58), Tuesday at the INSPIRE Sports Academy here.

This is the first time in three legs that Bacolod City, who did not have Alfred Batino for the stop, did not make the next round that has P100,000 waiting for the winner.

Family’s Brand Sardines-Zamboanga City Chooks completed its sweep of Pool D with a dominant 21-7 (5:06) romp of the still winless Pagadian City Rocky Sports.

Besides the playoffs, also taking place as of publishing is the TM side events – Slam Dunk Contest and Two-Point Shootout.

Sarangani through to knockout rounds with Butuan upset in President's Cup 4th leg

Carlo Escalambre and the Sarangani Marlins book a seat in the knockout rounds.

Sarangani secured their spot in the knockout rounds of the fourth leg of the Chooks-to-Go Pilipinas 3x3 President's Cup powered by TM on Tuesday.

To complete the sweep in Pool A, they upset third leg champions Uling Roasters-Butuan City, 21-19.

The duo of Carlo Escalambre and Pamboy Raymundo took care of the scoring for the Marlins combining for eighteen points.

With Sarangani clinging to a 19-17 lead, Escalambre scored his tenth point on a tough layup to place them on the hill with 114 seconds remaining.

A Karl Dehesa two-pointer kept Butuan's hopes alive, but Raymundo took the inbound, drove into the paint and scored his eighth point to clinch the victory.

Escalambre shared after the game, "Nakachamba lang. Gusto lang talaga namin makabawi kasi disappointing yung Leg Three namin. Nag-sweep pero tanggal nung playoffs."

Butuan rested third leg hero Franky Johnson for this leg, allowing the shooter additional rest heading into the Grand Final on October 30.

Fresh from a crushing overtime defeat to powerhouse Zamboanga City, Palayan City pounded on Pagadian City-Rocky Sports, handing them a 21-6 beating in just over seven minutes.

JP Sarao matched Pagadian's output with six points to lead the Capitals.

Also booking their tickets into the second round are Big Boss Cement-Porac and Pasig-Sta. Lucia.

The former took down Petra Cement-Roxas ZN, 18-15, with Dylan Ababou scoring nine points. The Green Gorillas also gave free passage to Zamboanga Peninsula into the knockout rounds with the victory.

The latter dispatched Bicol-Paxful 3x3 Pro, 21-17, in Pool D, with Ced Ablaza leading the way with six points. The Realtors' victory also towed Nueva Ecija into the quarterfinals.

Zamboanga City barely escapes Palayan City in President's Cup fourth leg opener

Munzon bails out Zamboanga City

Zamboanga City was on the verge of being upset again in the 2020 Chooks-to-Go Pilipinas 3x3 President's Cup powered by TM on Tuesday afternoon, but Joshua Munzon prevented that from happening.

The top 3x3 baller in the Philippines aided the Family's Brand Sardines-backed quartet to a 19-17 overtime victory over Palayan City in their opening pool play match for the fourth leg.

After converting a free throw off a JP Sarao foul, a Bobby Balucanag turnover Munzon then swooped towards the basket for his eighth point and the game-clinching basket.

He shared after the game, "It's having some slow starts but it's not how you start, it’s how you finish."

Smarting from their quarterfinal defeat to Pasig-Sta. Lucia in the third leg, Munzon adds, "We are going through what every team goes, the highs and the lows. Just got to go through it."

Zamboanga City trailed 9-16 with three minutes left, but three straight two-pointers from Troy Rike, Leonard Santillan, and Munzon reduced the deficit to a solitary point.

Santillan would then force overtime at 17-all through his trademark hook with 13.6 seconds remaining.

In other early pool play action, Marvin Hayes connected on four two-pointers to power Sarangani to a 21-13 win over Bacolod-Masters Sardines, avenging their 20-21 nailbiter of a defeat in the quarterfinals of the previous leg.

Also winning their matchups are Zamboanga Valientes MLV, who beat Petra Cement-Roxas ZN, 21-11, and Nueva Ecija, who beat Bicol-Paxful 3x3 Pro, 21-13.

President's Cup set for fourth leg

Butuan City claimed the third leg of the President's Cup

With the Grand Final looming later in the week, the twelve teams participating in the Chooks-to-Go Pilipinas 3x3 President's Cup are seeking one more title via the fourth leg slated later this afternoon.

The third leg on Sunday finally produced a different winner, as Uling Roasters-Butuan City took advantage of an early exit by Family's Brand Sardines-Zamboanga City Chooks to secure the PhP 100,000 prize.

Even with the title in their pocket, the quartet remains hungry for excellence. "This doesn't mean anything," according to Franky Johnson. He shares, "We gotta go to the next leg and execute the same thing there."

Their continued success in the three legs of the President's Cup so far allowed Butuan to claim the lead in points with just one more leg left before the Grand Final on October 30.

Johnson adds, "Of course, this is a confidence-booster for us, but we've been confident since the preseason just from knowing all the hard work we put in. We prepared ourselves to give ourselves the best shot here. We're all locked in."

In their quest to match Zamboanga City, they will need to take care of business in Pool A, with Bacolod-Master Sardines and Sarangani Marlins serving as initial opposition.

Seeking to go one step farther is Pasig-Sta. Lucia, who pulled off the upset against Zamboanga City in the quarterfinals. Johnson gave the team their props after their matchup, "They're a tough team. You saw how they played us in the Finals. In this league, we don't underestimate anybody. Everybody is getting better from preseason to now so our mindset is we have to level up too."

The Realtors will have to deal with Bicol-Paxful 3x3 Pro and Nueva Ecija in pool play.

As for the national team pool quartet of Joshua Munzon, Alvin Pasaol, Troy Rike, and Leonard Santillan, they will face Palayan City and Pagadian-Rocky Sports in pool play.

Completing the field are Big Boss Cement-Porac, Petra Cement-Roxas ZN, and Zamboanga Peninsula-MLV.

The two teams of each Pool advance into the knockout rounds, until we have a champion.

Also scheduled to take place today are the side events in the form of the TM Two-Point Shootout and the TM Slam Dunk Contest. The latter sees David Carlos try to claim his third straight leg against Darwin Cantong and Jesus Manay.  

Monday, October 26, 2020

Franky Johnson clinches third leg for Butuan in President's Cup

Franky Johnson drives against the Pasig defense.

We have a new champion in the 2020 Chooks-to-Go Pilipinas 3x3 President's Cup powered by TM, as the third leg produced a dramatic ending in the final.

Uling Roasters-Butuan City claimed the victory over Pasig-Sta. Lucia, 21-20, with Franky Johnson nailing the game-winner with just seconds remaining.

Struggling for most of the match, Johnson stepped up when the team needed the most, converting a longball over Jeckster Apinan for his sixth point, securing the win and capping an undefeated third leg.

Chico Lanete led all scorers with eight points. He shared after the game with the team's struggles during the final, "Sinasabi ko sa kanila lagi, wag niyo i-doubt yung sarili niyo kasi may chance pa tayo. Alam naman naming pwedeng-pwede pa kaming bumawi at ito na nga yung resulta."

Completing scoring for Butuan are Chris de Chavez's four points and JR Alabanza's three markers.

To get to the final, they defeated Zamboanga Peninsula in the quarterfinals, 21-14, and handled things in the semifinals against Bacolod, 21-18.

Pasig pulled off the result of the the third leg with their 21-18 upset of powerhouse Zamboanga City in the quarterfinals. The Realtors then took care of business against Palayan City, 21-9 in the semifinals. Although they fell short in the final, they still managed to win PhP 30,000.

Bacolod earned PhP 20,000 as the second-runner-up.

In the other side event, David Carlos claimed his second TM Slam Dunk title.

The fourth leg of the FIBA 3x3-endorsed tournament will take place on Tuesday, with the Grand Final scheduled on the 30th.


BUTUAN CITY-ULING ROASTERS 21 - Lanete 8, Johnson 6, De Chavez 4, Alabanza 3

PASIG-STA. LUCIA REALTORS 20 - Ablaza 7, Apinan 7, Bautista 5, Apreku 2

Sunday, October 25, 2020

Pasig stuns Zamboanga City in President's Cup quarters

Pasig is through to the semifinals.

The President's Cup will have a second team winning in its tournament.

Pasig-Sta. Lucia upset Family's Brand Sardines-Zamboanga City in the quarterfinals of the third leg of the 2020 Chooks-to-Go Pilipinas 3x3 President's Cup on Sunday, 21-18.

The Realtors were trailing 11-18 with 2:45 left on the clock after a bucket from Leonard Santillan, but they turned up the defense to frustrate the national team quartet into misses and miscues. At the same time, the duo of Jeckster Apinan and Felix Apreku powered the comeback and complete the upset by scoring the final ten points of the game.

The latter shared after the game, "Depensa lang talaga and heart manalo."

Pasig will face off against Palayan City in the semifinals after the Capitals toppled sister team Nueva Ecija, 21-14.

Bobby Balucanag and Clark Derige took advantage of their size and imposed their will against the Rice Vanguards, netting a combined thirteen points in the win.

The former shared afterwards, "Mas intense yung laban namin kasi sister teams kami e. Nilaro lang namin yung advantage namin sa loob kaya siguro kami nanalo."

The other semifinal matchup features a couple of former finalists.

Preseason runner-up Bacolod-Master Sardines nipped Sarangani, 21-20, as Choi Ignacio scored the game-winner with just over a minute remaining. The Marlins had reached the hill first behind the efforts of Pamboy Raymundo before Ignacio's heroics.

First leg runner-up Uling Roasters-Butuan City topped Zamboanga Peninsula, 21-14. Franky Johnson torched the Valientes for eleven points.

Janus Lozada made it back-to-back winners for Petra Cement-Roxas ZN in the TM Two-Point Shootout, as he completed the first perfect stint in the competition by knocking down all ten attempts.

He joins Chris de Chavez and Roider Cabrera as leg winners in this particular side event.

Pasig-Sta. Lucia completes Chooks 3x3 Leg 3 playoffs cast

Chico Lanete taking charge for Butuan

Pasig-Sta. Lucia secured access to the knockout rounds of the third leg in the 2020 Chooks-to-Go Pilipinas 3x3 President's Cup powered by TM on Sunday.

The Realtors toppled Big Boss Cement-Porac, 22-19, behind the efforts of Jhaps Bautista and his fourteen points.

He shared afterwards, "Mas tumira kami sa labas. Lagi kami sa ilalim e kaya mas sinigurado namin na tumira sa labas."

The Realtors will face Zamboanga City in the quarterfinals, as the national team pool quartet completed a sweep of Pool C after defeating Bacolod, 21-17.

Even with the defeat, Bacolod still managed to earn a spot in the knockout rounds and is slated to face Sarangani, who topped Pool A.

Nueva Ecjia topped Pool B with a 21-12 win over Zamboanga Peninsula, setting up a quarterfinal matchup against Palayan City.

Butuan City also advanced to the knockout rounds with a 21-17 win over Petra Cement-Roxas ZN, 21-17. The Uling Roasters-backed squad will face the Valientes in the quarters.

Sarangani books spot in the President's Cup knockout rounds

Marlins book spot in the knockout rounds.

Sarangani secured passage into the quarterfinals of the 2020 Chooks-to-Go Pilipinas 3x3 President's Cup powered by TM.

After their struggles in the opening two legs, the Marlins completed a sweep in Pool A at the INSPIRE Sports Academy.

Escaping with a 21-15 win over Big Boss Cement-Porac to open their campaign, the Marlins were taken to the limit by Pasig-Sta. Lucia but held on to a 21-19 victory.

Pamboy Raymundo scored an and-one to give Sarangani a 19-18 lead, with JC Escalambre moving the Marlins to the hill at 20-18.

Cedric Ablaza pulled one back, but Raymundo's up-and-under for his ninth point sealed the sweep with around twenty seconds left.

Paul Sanga shared after the game, "Slow start ulit kami pero nung nakita namin na five points na yung lamang nila. Hindi na kami tumigil, sa awa ng diyos nananalo." The FEU alumnus netted five points for the Marlins.

Palayan City kept their hopes of entering the knockout rounds with a 21-12 victory over Petra Cement-Roxas. JP Sarao led the Capitals with seven points, with Bobby Balucanag adding four markers.

Also entering the quarterfinals are Zamboanga Peninsula and Bacolod.

The Valientes clinched their spot with a RR de Leon two-pointer to defeat Pagadian City, 21-18 with over three minutes left.

The Master Sardines-back quartet dealt Bicol-Paxful 3x3 Pro its second loss in pool play with a 21-15 win.

Gab Banal torches Pagadian in President's Cup third leg opener for Nueva Ecija

Gab Banal at work.

Nueva Ecija shook off their loss in the final of the second leg with a 21-11 win over Pagadian-Rocky Sports to open their third leg campaign at the 2020 Chooks-to-Go Pilipinas 3x3 President's Cup powered by TM.

The Rice Vanguards needed just four and a half minutes to dispatch their opposition, led by a dominant performance by Gab Banal.

Banal's conference-high fifteen points proved to be too much for Pagadian, which included six two-pointers. The ninth-ranked 3x3 player in the Philippines shared afterwards, "Wala naman masyadong pressure. Slow start kami e so I had to step up. Yun lang motivation ko kanina."

Zamboanga City doubled up Bicol-Paxful 3x3 Pro to open their third leg campaign, 22-11. Joshua Munzon and Alvin Pasaol combined for seventeen points for Family's Brand Sardines-back quartet, which completed the match in just over six minutes.

Butuan City defeated Palayan City, 22-13, to start their campaign in Pool D, while Sarangani topped Big Boss Cement-Porac MSC in Pool A, 21-15.

President's Cup third leg set today

Can anyone stop Zamboanga City?

Even with their current success in the 2020 Chooks-to-Go 3x3 Pilipinas President's Cup powered by TM, expect no letup from Family's Brand Sardines Zamboanga City Chooks as the league enters its third leg Sunday afternoon at the bubble setup inside INSPIRE Sports Academy.

Alvin Pasaol shares, "Di kami masyadong confident kahit tatlong panalo na kami. Sa next leg namin, mas hihigitan pa namin yung effort namin ngayon."

Zamboanga City has won both legs so far this week, as well as the preseason tournament. The quartet composed of national team pool members Pasaol, Joshua Munzon, Leonard Santillan, and Troy Rike are using the league to prepare themselves for the upcoming Tokyo 2020 Olympic Qualifying Tournament slated to take place next year.

The fan favorite adds, "Kailangan naming ma-sweep ito, yun yung nasa utak namin. Kailangang ipakita sa lahat na nire-represent namin ang Pilipinas. Ito na yung training ground namin e kumbaga para pagdating sa OQT tsaka Tokyo Olympics, makakalaban tayo."

Zamboanga City will be facing Bacolod-Master Sardines and Bicol-Paxful 3x3 Pro in Pool C, with all three teams having earned spots in the knockout rounds on the previous leg.

Second leg finalists Nueva Ecija seek a return trip in the third leg, but to pull that off, they will need to survive Zamboanga Peninsula Valientes-MLV and Pagadian-Rocky Sports in Pool B.

First leg finalists Uling Roasters-Butuan City will be facing Palayan City Capitals and Petra Cement Roxas ZN in Pool D.

In Pool A, Joining Big Boss Cement-Porac MSC Green Gorillas are Pasig-Sta. Lucia Realtors and Sarangani Marlins.

Champions will receive PhP 100,000. However, if Zamboanga City is in the finals, the team facing them there will also receive that amount. A new wrinkle in the competition sees a PhP 10,000 incentive for the team who wins their game the quickest, called the Chooks-to-Go Delivery Fastest Game.

Also set to take place on Sunday are the two side-events: the TM Two-Point Shootout and the TM Slam Dunk Contest. The latter sees David Carlos attempt to fend off first leg champion Darwin Cantong and Jesus Manay for the PhP 20,000 prize.

Telecast starts at 1pm on BEAM Ch. 31, the Chooks-to-Go Pilipinas page on Facebook, and the FIBA 3x3 YouTube account.

Saturday, October 24, 2020

President's Cup to name a "Toughest Team"

Game not for the faint of heart.

3x3 basketball has generally been recognized as intense, physical, and tough.

However, the action in the 2020 Chooks-to-Go Pilipinas 3x3 President's Cup powered by TM seems to taken that level a little bit higher that normal, as seen in the past couple of legs.

As what Alvin Pasaol put it when this was raised with the media, "Ganiyan naman talaga ang 3x3, pisikalan. Pagdating naman sa labas, magkakaibigan, magbabarkada pa rin."

Such action has gotten the attention of Gold's Gym Chief Executive Officer Mylene Dayrit, who has decided to back the league through UFC Gym.

She quipped, "I saw the physicality of the games and we think that there are future MMA fighters in this leagueKidding aside, 3x3 basketball is like the MMA of basketball. We want to help in training them after they get out of the 'Calambubble' and teach them the discipline of martial arts."

As a result, Chooks-to-Go 3x3 will be naming a "Toughest Team of the Conference," based from squad performance and shows calm amidst physicality. The team will be rewarded a one-year membership at UFC Gym.

The winner will be announced during the Grand Finals on October 30.

Friday, October 23, 2020

Zamboanga City claims President's Cup second leg

Still unmatched. 2/2 for Zamboanga City in the President's Cup

Zamboanga City claimed the second leg of the 2020 Chooks-to-Go Pilipinas 3x3 President's Cup powered by TM on Friday, but they had to fend off a game Nueva Ecija side in the final, 21-11.

Alvin Pasaol finished with eight points for the Family's Brand Sardines-backed squad, highlighted by a two-pointer over Tonino Gonzaga for the win. Leonard Santillan added seven markers, five of which came in a span of four minutes that allowed Zamboanga City to go on a 12-5 run to establish an 18-9 lead.

The matchup had its intense moments, none moreso than what took place involving Pasaol, Santillan, Gonzaga, and Gab Banal.

In trying to secure a rebound, Banal fouls Santillan, which led both to fall to the floor and both players unable to extricate themselves out of. Pasaol then came close to push off Banal, followed by Gonzaga warding Pasaol off.

Game officials then reviewed the situation as a whole via video review and awarded a regular foul to Banal and unsportsmanlike technical fouls to both Pasaol and Gonzaga.

Once play resumed, Banal managed to reduce the deficit to 11-19, but Pasaol's jumper over Gonzaga secured the title and the accompanying PhP 100,000 prize.

When asked about the perception of the 3x3 game being more intense than many thought it would be, the former UAAP scoring champion had this to say, "Hindi ito larong bata. Para sa mga hindi nakakaintindi ng 3x3, wag niyo na lang kami panoorin. Tuloy-tuloy lang naman yung laro kahit anong mangyari. Kailangan naming manalo rito kasi ito na yung preparation para sa Tokyo Olympics."

Even with the loss, with the special incentive league owner Ronald Mascarinas put in place for the other remaining teams, the Rice Vanguards also secured PhP 100,000.

Both teams survived tough competition in the knockout rounds heading into the final.

Zamboanga City eked out a 21-16 win over Bacolod in the quarters and needed a 12-2 run to escape with a 21-18 win over Butuan City in the semis.

Nueva Ecija needed a Jai Reyes game-winning two-pointer to escape with a 21-19 win over Bicol in the quarters, then dispatched a game Pasig in the semis, 22-13.

Completing the side-events for the second leg is David Carlos claiming the TM Slam Dunk title.

The third leg takes place on Sunday afternoon.

The Scores:

ZAMBOANGA CITY 21 -- Pasaol 8, Santillan 7, Munzon 4, Rike 2.

NUEVA ECIJA 11 -- Banal 7, Reyes 3, Gonzaga 1, Sabellina 0.

Nueva Ecija survives Bacolod in President's Cup quarters

Jai Reyes still got that explosive jumper.

Nueva Ecija needed some late drama to book their spot in the quarterfinals of the second leg in the 2020 Chooks-to-Go Pilipinas 3x3 President's Cup powered by TM inside the bubble setup at the INSPIRE Sports Academy.

Jai Reyes' two-pointer over Mon Mabayo with under two minutes remaining clinched a 21-19 come-from-behind victory for the Rice Vanguards against Bicol-Paxful 3x3 Pro.

It capped a 5-0 run that lasted around a couple of minutes. An Alwin Alday deep shot allowed Bicol to take a 19-16 lead with under four minutes, but Gab Banal and Mac Sabelina scored back-to-back layups to reduce the deficit to a solitary point. Reyes then tied the game with a layup, setting things up for his game-winning heroics. Nueva Ecija's team manager would finish with eight points in the victory.

Sabelina also finished with eight points for the Rice Vanguards. He shared afterwards, "Sinunod lang namin yung game plan namin. Tinrabaho lang namin."

Nueva Ecjia will face Pasig-Sta. Lucia in the semifinals, as the Realtors downed Big Boss Cement-Porac, 21-13.

Cedrick Ablaza clinched the win for Pasig with a left elbow jumper with 105 seconds remaining.

In the other semifinal matchup, Zamboanga City and Butuan City set up a rematch of the first leg final after dispatching their quarterfinal opposition in similar fashion.

The national pool side backed by Family's Brand Sardines bested Bacolod-Master Sardines, 21-16. Joshua Munzon scored nine points, including the game-clincher with just over two minutes left.

Uling Roasters-backed Butuan escaped with a 21-17 win over Sarangani. Franky Johnson nailed an off-balance two-pointer to secure the win with over two minutes left.

In one of two side-events within the second leg, Roider Cabrera clinched the TM Two-Point Shootout in clutch fashion, converting the final ball for his eighth point. The Adamson alumnus beat out Dylan Ababou for the PhP 10,000 prize.

Favorites complete pool play sweeps in President's Cup second leg

Karl Dehesa and Uling Roasters-Butuan swept pool play.

3x3 contenders Zamboanga City Chooks, Butuan City, Porac, and Nueva Ecija book seats into the knockout rounds, completing sweeps to close out pool play in the second leg of the 2020 Chooks-to-Go Pilipinas 3x3 President's Cup powered by TM.

Alvin Pasaol scored seven points for the Family's Brand Sardines-backed Zamboanga City in their 21-13 win over Pasig-Sta. Lucia in Pool B. Although securing the sweep and considered as heavy favorites, the Davao native downplays those thoughts, "One game at a time pa rin ang mindset namin."

Looming in the quarters is sister team Bacolod-Master Sardines.

The Uling Roasters-backed Butuan City rode on Franky Johnson's hot hand against Bicol-PAXFUL 3x3 Pro, 21-13, needing just under six minutes to accomplish the feat.

Johnson finished with fourteen points in the win, but he still prefers to look ahead. "We gotta pace. It's still a long day," as they are slated to face Sarangani next.

The Rice Vanguards relied on Mac Sabelina to escape with a 21-16 win in just under nine minutes, while the Big Boss Cement-backed Porac needed just over four minutes to claim a 21-11 demolition of Pagadian City-Rocky Sports.

Five two-pointers from Ryan Monteclaro spearheaded the Kapangpangan side in the victory.

Completing the quarterfinal matchups are Nueva Ecija against Bicol and Porac against Pasig.

The champion of the second leg will receive PhP 100,000.

Bacolod keeps knockout round hopes alive with Pagadian City whipping

Alfred Batino at work for Bacolod

Bacolod-Master Sardines kept their knockout hopes alive with a 22-12 win over Pagadian City-Rocky Sports in the continuation of pool play at the second leg of the 2020 Chooks-to-Go Pilipinas 3x3 President's Cup powered by TM.

Anton Asistio and Alfred Batino each netted seven points in the win. The former shared after the game, "Actually mas disppointed kami sa loss kanina. We thought we had it in the bag. We made sure to use Alfred dahil siya yung advantage namin."

Pagadian City still has a chance to advance into the knockout rounds with their matchup against Porac to close out their pool play.

Three teams have earned their spots in the knockout rounds, with Sarangani, Pasig-Sta. Lucia, and Bicol booking victories.

The Marlins knocked out Palayan City in just over five minutes, 21-13. The Realtors took care of business against Roxas City, 21-18 in almost seven and a half minutes. Bicol nipped Zamboanga Peninsula Valientes-MLV, 21-19 in under nine minutes.

The Capitals, Roxas City, and the Valientes lost all their pool play matches to exit second leg action. 

Big Boss Cement-Porac comeback against Bacolod highlights early Chooks 3x3 second leg

Player of the Game Dylan Ababou against Bacolod.

Big Boss Cement-Porac MSC completed a come-from-behind victory over Bacolod-Master Sardines, serving as the highlight of the early part of pool play in the second leg of the 2020 Chooks-to-Go Pilipinas 3x3 President's Cup powered by TM.

Trailing 14-17 midway in the matchup, the Green Gorillas bounced back by scoring the final seven points of the game in the subsequent three minutes. Ryan Monteclaro snatched the win via a deuce with 1:58 left, 21-17.

Dylan Ababou led Porac with six points in the victory.

Also getting attention in pool play is a matchup involving sister squads Nueva Ecija and Palayan City, with the former escaping a 21-20 win in just over six minutes. Jai Reyes' floater allowed the Rice Vanguards to secure the win.

Tonino Gonzaga led Nueva Ecija with nine points, including four two-pointers. He shared after the game about their sister team matchup, "Siyempre, gusto pa rin namin magcompete. Kahit same boss [Bong Cuevas] kami, may pride pa rin sino manalo."

The Ateneo alumnus replaced Juan Gomez de Liano after the latter suffered an ankle injury during the first leg of the only professional 3x3 league in the Philippines.

The first leg finalists opened their respective pool play matches with victories.

Family's Brand Sardines-Zamboanga City Chooks beat Petra Cement-Roxas in Pool B, 21-18, needing 6:47 to notch the victory. Uling Roasters-Butuan City escaped with a 21-17 win over Zamboanga Peninsula Valientes-MLV, needed 7:50 to accomplish the feat in Pool C.

The league also announced a PhP 10,000 incentive for the winner of the game that ended the soonest.

Thursday, October 22, 2020

President's Cup resumes with second leg

The Nueva Ecija Rice Vanguards

Fresh from a podium finish at the first leg of the Chooks-to-Go Pilipinas 3x3 President's Cup powered by TM last Wednesday, Nueva Ecija is set to tweak their quartet for the second leg on Friday.

The Rice Vanguards needed to make an adjustment after Juan Gomez de Liano suffered an ankle injury during pool play against Bacolod. He was forced to sit out the knockout rounds, which saw the team make it all the way through the semifinals.

Nueva Ecija then decided to shelve the 20-year old for the upcoming second leg.

The former stalwart of the University of the Philippines averaged 7.5 points in the first leg before getting injured.

Veteran guard Tonino Gonzaga has been called up to replace Juan and join Jai Reyes, Gab Banal, and Maclean Sabelina, as they are set to face off against sister team Palayan City, and Sarangani in Pool A.

First leg champions Zamboanga City seek to extend their dominance in the 3x3 scene after being placed alongside Pasig-Sta. Lucia and Petra Cement-Roxas in Pool B.

Down 17-14 with four minutes left, Joshua Munzon sparked the Family's Brand Sardines-back quartet with four points in the 7-0 run to clinch the title and the PhP 100,000 cash prize.

Butuan-Uling Roasters headline Pool C, as they aim to improve on their second place effort against Bicol-Paxful 3x3 Pro and Zamboanga Peninsula Valientes MLV.

Porac, Bacolod-Master Sardines, and Pagadian-Rocky Sports complete the cast inside the so-called "Calambubble" for Pool D.

The second leg will also feature the TM Two-Point Shootout and the TM Slam Dunk Contest, with the latter featuring the trio of Darwin Cantong, Jesus Manay, and David Carlos trying to outdo each other.

Fans can watch the games on BEAM TV Channel 31, the Chooks-to-Go Pilipinas page on Facebook, and the FIBA 3x3 YouTube account, starting at 1pm.

Zamboanga City claims President's Cup first leg

Your President's Cup first leg champions: Zamboanga City

Family Brand Sardines-Zamboanga City-Chooks took care of business inside the "Calambubble," as they topped the first leg of the Chooks-to-Go Pilipinas 3x3 President's Cup powered by TM on Wednesday.

The quartet of Joshua Munzon, Alvin Pasaol, Troy Rike, and Leonard Santillan completed the sweep with a 21-17 victory over Butuan-Uling Roasters in the final.

Butuan did not make it easy for Zamboanga City, establishing a 17-14 lead before a Munzon two-pointer jumpstarted a 7-0 run to complete the come-from-behind victory.

The man called the "Night King" scored twelve points in the final, capped off by a free throw. He shared afterwards, "Again, it showed we can fight through adversity. We just stuck to our script. We took advantage of our advantages."

Pasaol added six markers and kept the team afloat early on as they tried to fend off a game Butuan side, which was led by Karl Dehesa's six points. Chris De Chavez and Chico Lanete each contributed four markers.

Zamboanga City claims the PhP 100,000 prize for clinching the title. By virtue of the incentive plan league owner Ronald Mascarinas put in place for teams to help Zamboanga City with their Olympic Qualifying Tournament preparations, Butuan City also earned P100,000 aside from their second place prize of PhP 30,000.

To get to the final, Zamboanga City dispatched Porac in the quarters and Nueva Ecija in the semis, while Butuan City dispatched Bacolod in the quarters and Zamboanga Peninsula in the semifinals.

Earning PhP 20,000 as third placers are the Rice Vanguards, who had to play the knockout rounds with only three players after an ankle injury to Juan Gomez de Liano.

In the side events for the first leg, De Chavez claimed the TM Two-Point Shootout and its PhP 10,000 cash prize, while Jesus Manay upset David Carlos to claim the TM Slam Dunk contest and its PhP 20,000 incentive.

The second leg of the President's Cup will take place on Friday inside the bubble setup at INSPIRE Sports Academy in Calamba.

The Scores:

ZAMBOANGA CITY 21 -- Munzon 12, Pasaol 6, Santillan 2, Rike 1.

BUTUAN CITY 17 -- Dehesa 6, De Chavez 4, Lanete 4, Johnson 3.

Wednesday, October 21, 2020

Undermanned Nueva Ecija sweeps President's Cup Pool Play

Juan Gomez de Liano's debut in Chooks 3x3 cut short with an ankle injury.

Nueva Ecija dug deep to come out on top of Pool D to close out group stage action at the first leg of the Chooks-to-Go Pilipinas 3x3 President's Cup powered by TM.

The Rice Vanguards were reduced to play two-on-three after Juan Gomez de Liano sprained his right ankle after landing on the foot of Chris Lalata with 5:15 left in the game. The guard sat out the rest of the game and is expected to miss out on the remainder of action today inside the bubble at the INSPIRE Sports Academy.

They then lost Mac Sabelina after the big man was ejected for his second unsportsmanlike foul just over a minute later.

With back-to-back two-point shots from Anton Asistio to establish a 19-17 lead, Jai Reyes and Gab Banal buckled down to work.

A Reyes free throw halved the deficit, then Banal secured an offensive rebound after missing an outside jumper, scoring a putback and drew an and-two opportunity from Alfred Batino. The MPBL Datu Cup MVP converted the foul shots to clinch the win.

Banal shares, "Got nothing to lose. We only had two players but I don't know if that's even possible? That might be the first time in 3x3 history."

With Juan's availability for the knockout rounds now in question, he adds, "If Juan can't play, that's a big loss for is. Ganiyan ang Nueva Ecija but the whole Chooks team. Hindi tayo magpapatalo."

Completing their sweeps in pool play are Zamboanga City and Butuan, with the former in Pool A escaping with a 22-19 win over Sarangani in 7:17, while the latter in Pool B took care of business with a 21-13 win over Pasig in just over seven minutes.

Munzon led the way for Zamboanga City with nine points, while Franky Johnson nailed five two-point shots for Butuan.

Completing pool play in the first leg is Porac's 21-14 win over Bicol. James Laput netted five points in the victory.

The knockout rounds are already underway with the champions of this leg netting PhP 100,000.

Palayan City sweeps pool play in President's Cup first leg

Renz Palma for Palayan City

Palayan City secures passage into the knockout rounds of the first leg of the 2020 Chooks-to-Go Pilipinas 3x3 President's Cup powered by TM, as pool play continues inside the INSPIRE Sports Academy bubble in Calamba today.

The Capitals swept Pool C after defeating Bicol-Paxful 3x3 Pro in six minutes and twenty seconds, 21-15.

Clark Derige scored six points to lead Palayan City, with JP Sarao adding six markers. The latter scored all of them in a key stretch in the last six minutes, allowing the Capitals to break away from Bicol and erect a 19-14 lead.

Mon Mabayo scored inside to reduce the deficit to 20-15, but Derige clinch the win with his own short stab to clinch the matchup with 3:40 left.

Earlier on Wednesday, they pulled off the upset against Big Boss Cement-Porac.

Renz Palma still believes they have much room for improvement. "Ang mindset lang namin is aayusin pa namin yung dapat ayusin."

In Pool D, Bacolod-Master Sardines nipped Petra Cement Roxas-ZN Rockies, 21-17. Bacolod's win allows Nueva Ecija a free pass to the knockout rounds and a potential sister team matchup.

In Pool B, Pasig-Sta. Lucia defeated Pagadian-Rocky Sports MLV to send them into the knockout rounds, 21-13. Pasig's win also secures idle Butuan-Uling Roasters a berth into the next round.

Heavy favorites Family's Brand Sardines-Zamboanga City Chooks defeated Zamboanga Peninsula Valientes-MLV, 21-14.

Zamboanga City impresses in early President's Cup first leg action

Troy Rike was the man for Zamboanga City against the Zamboanga Peninsula

Powered by the national team pool, Family's Brand Sardines-Zamboanga City Chooks kicked off their President's Cup campaign strong, defeating Zamboanga Peninsula Valientes-MLV, 21-14 in just under six and half minutes.

Troy Rike ensured the victory for ZC against ZP, nailing three two-pointers in a span of two minutes, including the game-clinching basket with 3:44 remaining.

The Wake Forest and National University alumnus shared after the win, "We are holding ourselves to a high standard. We don't want to drop any games and we don't want to take the easy route."

ZP did secure a win to kick off the first leg, defeating Sarangani Marlins, 21-19 in just over nine minutes. Rudy Lingganay led the Valientes with seven points.

In the other early matches, Palayan City kicked off Pool C action with a 21-15 win over Big Boss Cement-Porac, 21-15. John Paul Sarao topped the Capitals with six markers.

Uling Roasters-Butuan City needed just over seven and a half minutes to dispatch Pagadian City-Rocky Sports, 21-12 in Pool B, while Gab Banal's ten points for Nueva Ecija matched Petra Cement-Roxas City's total team output to secure the win for the Rice Vanguards in just over seven minutes, 21-10, for Pool D.

Group Stage matches are still ongoing, with the knockout playoffs set for a 5pm start today.

Monday, October 19, 2020

UP Men's Basketball seals partnership with TopBreed

UPMBT x TopBreed

The Men's Basketball program of the University of the Philippines chalked up an additional partnership this past week, entering into another agreement with the Universal Robina Corporation.

The new partnership involves the brand TopBreed Dog Meal, which is part of URC's Agro-Industrial Group. TopBreed is tailored to satisfy nutritional and health needs of canines, allowing for their general well-being and attaining optimum performance. Among the products under its banner are ShamPooch shampoo and TopB+ vitamins. It is also considered as the leading brand of Philippine-made dog food in the country.

A long-time backer of the Fighting Maroons, URC already has a partnership with the UPMBT through its premium farm products unit, Robina Farms.

To celebrate the new partnership, a memorandum of agreement signing was held, involving URC-AIG officials Vincent Henry Go (managing director), Jonathan Diño (marketing director), and Julie Ann Climacosa (category manager). Representing the UP MBT are manager Atty. Agaton Uvero, head coach Bo Perasol, and nowheretogobutUP Foundation founder Renan Dalisay.

Go shares, "We are beyond proud to once again be part of the huge crowd of Isko and Iska supporting and rooting for the UP Fighting Maroons. We treasure this partnership with the UPMBT and the whole UP community as we share the same values of integrity, passion for excellence, innovation, and loyalty. Our parallel journeys have shown these values in action."

He adds, "TopBreed, just like the Fighting Maroons, has the same ‘never say die’ spirit, rising from the bottom to be one of the most recognized and respected teams today. This achievement mirrors how TopBreed went against internationally-known giant brands and won the hearts of Filipino furparents nationwide."

Perasol expressed gratitude for the continuing support of the Gokongwei Group of Companies for the program. He says, "We cannot thank them enough. They have been here for us even during our dark years and up to now that we are still facing this pandemic. Their help will really give us a great boost in the upcoming season." He also adds, "Like TopBreed, we were underdogs in our respective fields, but we have both risen to the challenge. We look forward to getting back on the court to give the best that we can for them and for the UP community."

Uvero echoed Perasol's sentiments, adding "We are truly grateful to URC AIG and another one of their brands - TopBreed - for continuing its support to the team despite the business difficulties in these pandemic times."

Go sees opportunities for the brand with the team. "This partnership is far from the ordinary. This time, we can see the other side of the Fighting Maroons---as furbuddies or furparents. We have must-watch features on the players and coaches with their dogs. We can also catch them on an online pupper meet and greet where we can get to know them more," he says.

Diño adds, "TopBreed and UPMBT will also partner in delivering top care to campus dogs through a project called UP Doggo Day. This partnership has much in store for the whole UPMBT crowd."

Tuesday, October 13, 2020

ONE Championship reveals six-fight card for October 30 event

Eduard Folayang has a scheduled fight this month.

ONE Championship has shed some light on their upcoming schedule, formalizing their mixed martial event at the end of the month.

To be hosted at the Singapore Indoor Stadium, ONE: Inside the Matrix, will take place on October 30, with six matches on the card, including four title fights and the involvement of a Filipino fighter.

Serving as the main event is current two-division champion Aung La N Sang defending his ONE Middleweight title against the undefeated Reinier de Ridder.

Hometown bet Christian Lee will defend his ONE Lightweight title against the undefeated Iuri Lapicus, while Martin Nguyen will defend his ONE Featherweight title against former Thanh Le.

Capping the title fights is a rematch, with Tiffany Teo seeking revenge against Xiong Jin Nan for the ONE Women's Strawweight title. Teo and "The Panda" faced off back in January 2018 to determine the first women's strawweight champion, with the Chinese claiming victory over the Singaporean in Jakarta.

Our very own Eduard Folayang seeks to get himself back into the title scene with a win against Antonio Caruso, while completing the card as the opening fight is Ritu Phogat against Nou Srey Pov.

ONE: Inside the Matrix seeks to continue to gains from ONE: Reign of Dynasties last October 9, which was the first pilot production by the outfit in partnership with the Singapore government. The country has implemented measures to mitigate the presence of COVID-19, and such measures will also be in place for this event.

Like recent ONE Championship events, it is a closed-door activity, with only the athletes, officials, and crew allowed inside SIS.

Make sure to check out ONE Sports on its social media platforms for details on the telecast of ONE: Inside the Matrix.

Monday, October 5, 2020

President's Cup gets IATF clearance


The INSPIRE Academy where Chooks 3x3 basketball will be played.

The Philippines will be witness to competitive 3x3 basketball this month, as the Inter-Agency Task Force has granted a provisionary license to Chooks-to-Go Pilipinas 3x3.

The license allows the league to finally proceed with the President's Cup powered by TM at the INSPIRE Sports Academy in Calamba, Laguna.

"We are grateful for the Inter-Agency Task Force composed of the Games and Amusements Board, Department of Health, and Philippine Sports Commission for giving us the clearance to hold our bubble," expressed league owner Ronald Mascariñas. "We would also like to thank Senator Bong Go for helping endorse our request to return to action."

He adds, "All of us are excited to get the ball rolling for our season."

With the license now secured for the competition, which covers from October 16-31, the league now proceeds with the next steps towards the resumption of competition.

Teams will now wrap up their practices at the UP Epsilon Chi Center this week, with the accompanying RT-PCR testing.

They would then go into pre-bubble home quarantine from October 8-13, then go through another round of RT-PCR testing on October 14-15 before entering the bubble inside the INSPIRE Academy campus in Calamba.

Practices will start on October 16-18, followed by a preseason tournament on the 19th.

The President's Cup will have four legs: October 21, 23, 25, and 27, with the Grand Finals to take place on the 30th.

The bubble will then be emptied out on October 31, followed by a 14-day home quarantine.

The presence of sports, Mascariñas believes, will help bring joy back to Filipino fans.

"Everyone is affected by this pandemic and in our small way, we aim to give hope through the sport of 3x3 basketball," he expressed.

The President's Cup powered by TM will feature twelve teams, including national team pool members Joshua Munzon, Alvin Pasaol, Troy Rike, and Leonard Santillan, who comprise Zamboanga City-Chooks. Their participation in the tourney is to aid them in their preparations for the upcoming Olympic Qualifying Tournament next year, where a slot for the Tokyo 2020 Olympics is at stake.

Serving as their competition in the tournament are: Butuan City-Uling Roasters, Bacolod-Masters Sardines, Nueva Ecija Rice Vanguards, Palayan City Capitals, Zamboanga Peninsula Valientes-MLV, Porac Big Boss Cement MSC, Bicol 3x3 Pro, Pasig-Sta. Lucia Realtors, Sarangani Marlins, Pagadian City Rocky Sports, and Petra Cement.

Sunday, October 4, 2020

Alex Eala set for French Open as second seed

Alex Eala. Photo c/o Rafa Nadal Academy

The French Open is about to get its Filipino flavor starting Sunday, as Alex Eala gets ready to participate in the junior girls' tournament.

She made her debut in the 2018 edition, falling short of making the main draw through qualifying.

This time around, she touts her recent success that she can capitalize against the opposition. Even with the cancellation of the Juniors Tournaments in Wimbledon and the US Open due to the pandemic, Alex managed to rise through the ranks, from 247th in 2018 to ending 2019 in thirteenth, to her current status as fourth-ranked ITF Juniors Girls player in the world.

She even made history by becoming the first Filipina to win a Grand Slam event, joining forces with Indonesian partner Priska Nugroho to capture the girls' doubles event of the 2020 Australian Open back in January.

At fifteen years of age, Alex is currently the youngest among the top fifty junior netters in the world. She continues to hone her craft in Mallorca, where she is a scholar of the Rafa Nadal Academy.

Even before her move to Spain, Eala has been supported by Globe Telecom, serving as a Globe Ambassadress for the last seven years.

Tabbed as the second seed at Roland Garros, she is set to open her campaign against Natalia Szabanin.

Saturday, October 3, 2020

UCFC snaps up two new sponsors for PFL stint

The UCFC away kit

On Thursday, United City Football Club announced its latest partners for their upcoming Philippines Football League campaign, namely the Manila Regenerative Center (MARC) and Integrated Market Services Asia Philippines Inc. (IMS Asia).

Upon securing their partnerships, UCFC co-founder and CEO Eric M. Gottschalk shares, "We are proud to announce these two grounds- breaking partnerships for our Club, not only because they come at a time of massive challenges to the global economy but also because we were able to attract local brands that have never before supported Philippines football."

He adds, "Tapping into the medical category during this pandemic seems like a logical choice for football partnerships but we also believe that the Club will tremendously benefit from the medical support and services provided to the team – and especially during these times, the welfare of the players and staff is absolutely key."

Tabbed as one of the forerunners in cutting-edge technology with regards to regenerative medicine, anti-aging, and sports injuries, MARC is based inside the Centuria Medical Center in Makati. The facility especially touts its stem cell treatment capabilities.

General Manager Mario Victor A. Bataclan shares, "We are honored to be part of the fast-growing Philippine football scene and be associated with the efforts of the Philippine Football Federation in developing the sports in the country." He adds, "United City Football Club is a team rich with heritage of triumphs and victories in the Philippines and ASEAN region and we at MARC will be cheering and rally behind the team in its quest to defend their national championship title."

IMS Asia is the exclusive distributor of Midas Magnesium in the Philippines. Midas Magnesium is a set of health care products that utilizes the healing powers of magnesium to address a variety of ailments.

IMS Asia Commercial Head Nina F. Oronan announces, "Midas Magnesium is excited to render support and partnership to United City Football Club for the upcoming Philippines Football League." She adds, "Together with IMS Asia, an innovative and value driven company in the business of healthcare and consumer distribution, Midas Magnesium products and health kits consist Magnesium roll-on’s, sprays and WariActiv Vapocoolant, which are perfect for body pain relief. We hope Midas Magnesium’s products will contribute to an optimal performance of the team and pave the way for a victory for UCFC."

The two join Monte Sportswear as UCFC's partners this season, with MARC's logo emblazoned on the front of the shirt and MIDAS Magnesium's logo located on the shorts.