Cebu Chooks gears up for FIBA 3×3 World Tour Riyadh Masters
CEBU CITY, Philippines—The Cebu Chooks 3×3 squad will test its mettle anew in the FIBA 3×3 World Tour Riyadh Masters at the Formula E Track in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia this weekend.
Cebu’s pride and the country’s No. 1 3×3 basketball player Mac Tallo will lead the team with Brandon Ramirez, Cameroonian import Mike Nzesseu and Marcus Hammonds, a former Isabela Chooks player in 2019.
Hammonds, an American, previously teamed up with Roosevelt Adams and Gab Banal during the Hongxiang Holdings Group Haining Challenger 2019.
With Hammonds, Cebu Chooks has filled up its six-team roster for the season.
“Good thing Marcus has been here in the country and has been training with us,” said Chooks-to-Go Pilipinas 3×3 head trainer Chico Lanete.
“Marcus is also very familiar with the local 3×3 scene, competing with numerous teams here.”
The world ranked No. 26 Cebu Chooks has been bracketed in Pool A with world No. 1 team, the Ub Huishan NE of Serbia and Doha of Qatar.
Cebu Chooks will face the formidable Serbians first on their scheduled pool game at 1 a.m. on Saturday followed by their second game against Doha at 3:05 a.m.
It will be a tough test for Cebu Chooks, which has been struggling in its previous 3×3 campaigns abroad.
UB has already won four masters tournament, including the 2022 Chooks-to-Go FIBA 3×3 World Tour Manila Masters, but had a dismal run in the Paris Masters in October after finishing seventh.
On the other hand, Doha is a familiar face for Cebu Chooks after competing in the Cebu Masters last month.
“We are tempering expectations for this tournament as we are currently rebuilding our Cebu team,” said Chooks-to-Go president Ronald Mascariñas.
“We are just hoping for a good showing for Mac and Brandon in Riyadh.”
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