MANILA, Philippines—It’ll be a new age for Manila Chooks TM as a new squad will banner the team in the coming 2021 Fiba 3×3 World Tour Doha Masters.
Now taking the mantle are Chico Lanete, Mac Tallo, Zachy Huang, and Dennis Santos with the four playing under head coach Aldin Ayo.
The new players replaced Joshua Munzon, Alvin Pasaol, Santi Santillan, and Troy Rike, who were all drafted during last Sunday’s PBA Rookie Draft.
“We are starting, yes, but we are starting on the right foot,” said Ayo. “We established a new culture and new approach. Hopefully, the players respond. Us coaches are doing our best and we are also grateful for the support Chooks-to-Go has been giving us.”
Ayo and his players were all COVID-19-negative, with RT-PCR tests administered for all of them, and are now under home quarantine before they leave on March 20.
Lanete, 41, only started in the 3×3 field in 2020 but has amassed a lengthy 12-year PBA career that saw him get named into the 2008 All-Rookie team and was part of the San Miguel team that won three championships.
Mac Tallo, meanwhile, had a stellar career in Cesafi, winning two MVPs in the association before playing for TNT and NLEX in the PBA.
Manila Chooks’ big men responsibilities now lie in the hands of 6-foot-4 Huang and 6-foot-5 Santos.
“All of the players are given another opportunity,” said Ayo. “That is what these players are hanging on to because they seldom get a second chance. They are motivated to prove that they can still play.”
Manila Chooks will first have to go through the qualifying draw against host Doha and Austria’s Graz before it makes it to the main competition which already has a slew of talented teams in Liman of Serbia, Riga of Latvia, Ub of Serbia, NY Harlem of USA, Princeton of USA, Novi Sad of Serbia, Amsterdam Talent&Pro of the Netherlands, Piran of Slovenia, Šakiai Gulbelė of Lithuania, Edmonton of Canada, and Lusail of Qatar.
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