By Adrian Stewart Co
The Manila Chooks TM, led by Negrense Mark Yee, is set to compete in the 2021 FIBA 3X3 World Tour Abu Dhabi Masters slated from October 29 to 30 at Kaser Al Amwaj in Abu Dhabi.
This will be the third foray of the Aldin Ayo-mentored 3×3 crew following their stints in the season opener last March in Doha, Qatar and the fourth leg in Montreal, Canada last September.
Apart from Yee, also in the Manila Chooks TM crew are his fellow former PBA cagers Mark Jayven Tallo and Chico Lanete as well as big men Zachary Huang and Dennis Santos.
Following the two legs the Manila Chooks TM have participated in, they were at solo 22nd place in the World Tour Standings with a total of 28 points.
According to Ayo, it will be a tall order for the Manila Chooks TM in the two-day event as they need a good showing to earn an invitation to the final tour stop in Mexico City from November 6 to 7.
Only the Top 12 teams after Mexico City leg will get invited to play in the Grand Finals this December in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia where Riga of Latvia is the defending champion.
“We need a strong showing to earn an invite to Mexico City,” said the former University of Santo Tomas Growling Tigers mentor. “It is really a tall order since our opponents will be formidable.”
Among those confirmed participants in Abu Dhabi are the Top Five in the tour standings in Ub of Serbia (330 points), Riga (285), Liman of Serbia (260), Amsterdam of the Netherlands (250), and Antwerp of Belgium (210).
Also in the competition are #9 Princeton of the United States (108), #10 San Juan of Puerto Rico (100), #21 Gagarin of Russia (34) and tour debutant Utrecht of the Netherlands.
No. 11 ranked Jeddah of Saudi Arabia (100) and debutant Ulaanbaatar MMC Energy of Mongolia have yet to confirm their participation after topping their respective qualifying tournaments./ ASC, WDJ