The Chooks-to-Go Pilipinas 3×3 league has gained professional status from the Games and Amusements Board ahead of plans to start its second season in September.
Commissioner Eric Altamirano said the GAB approval will give cagers an option to play professional under the setup of playing a three-on-three basketball game.
“This will provide our local players the opportunity to explore possibilities as a professional career in the 3×3 league. Gusto namin maging something aspirational for young 3×3 players,” Altamirano said during the recent announcement which was also participated in by Games and Amusements Board chairman Baham Mitra.
The league founded by Chooks-to-Go boss Ronald Mascariñas had its maiden running last season with the intent of helping the country gain significant points for a chance to earn a Tokyo Olympics berth.
Three conferences were held in 2019 with Pasig, Basilan and Balanga emerging as champions while FIBA points gained from the league enabled the Philippines to secure a spot in the 3×3 Olympic Qualifying Tournament.
It also opened doors for the likes of Fil-American Joshua Munzon, Alvin Pasaol and Santi Santillan to shine in the 3×3 scene while giving former PBA players like Dylan Ababou and Karl Dehesa tickets to resume their playing careers.
“It’s pretty cool. It’s definitely a step in the right direction in growing the game in the Philippines,” said Munzon, currently the country’s top 3×3 player. “It’s pretty cool, from when we started the first 3×3 league in the Philippines to now that we’re turning pro.”
The Chooks league is eyeing a bubble setup for the 2020 campaign, provided government restrictions will be limited to a Modified General Community Quarantine by September.
For now, Chooks is only allowed to stage practices after a Joint Administrative Order by GAB, Philippine Sports Commission and Department of Health was released earlier this week.