Manila 3X3 team faces tough task in Abu Dhabi


MANILA Chooks TM face tall odds when the team competes in the 2021 Fiba 3X3 World Tour Abu Dhabi Masters in Abu Dhabi on Friday.

Manila Chooks is bracketed with world No. 4 Liman of Serbia and No. 5 Amsterdam Talent&Pro of The Netherlands in Pool D. The Philippine side will hit the half court against Liman on Friday at 10:20 p.m. (Manila time) and Amsterdam at 2:45 a.m.

Manila Chooks is composed of veteran Chico Lanete, Mac Tallo, Zach Huang and 6-foot-6 Cameroonian Mike Nzeusseu.

“I’ve seen Mike [Nzeusseu] play with Lyceum and I’m thankful he wasn’t around anymore when I coached Letran,” said Manila Chooks head trainer Aldin Ayo about Nzeusseu, who is making his Fiba 3×3 debut. “He has the materials for 3×3. He’s big, he’s agile, he’s an athlete, he’s skilled.”

The team arrived Abu Dhabi  on Wednesday morning and will be quarantined until their RT-PCR test results come out at the Radisson Blu Hotel and Resort.

Nzeusseu, however, could be playing hurt in the tournament. He injured his left hand during the semifinals of the Chooks-to-Go Pilipinas 3×3 Invitational powered by TM last October 20.

Injury reserve Mark Yee also made the trip. The deadline for the final lineup is on Thursday during the technical meeting.

Without Nzeusseu Manila Chooks will have a tough time against Liman which has world No. 4 Mihailo Vasic, who stands at 6-foot-6. His teammates are 6-foot-4 Aleksandar Ratkov (world No. 11), 6-foot-6 Stefan Kojic (No. 13) and 6-foot Nebojsa Kilijan (No. 23).

World No. 10 Arvin Slagter will lead Amsterdam and will be joined by Dimeo van der Horst (No. 12), Julian Jaring (No. 14) and Maksim Kovacevic (No. 15).

The other teams in the tournament that offers a $40,000 prize to the champion are Serbia’s Ub, Puerto Rico’s San Juan and Russia’s Gagarin in Pool A; Latvia’s Riga, Saudi Arabia’s Jeddah and Mongolia’s Ulaanbaatar in Pool B; and Belgium’s Antwerp, USA’s Princeton and the winner of the qualifying draw between Netherland’s Utrecht, Japan’s Minakami and host Abu Dhabi in Pool C.

Also competing in the dunk contest is Filipino David Carlos, who returns to the world stage after two years.

Read full article on BusinessMirror