Manila Chooks opens campaign at FIBA 3×3 Montreal Masters

Published September 4, 2021, 5:24 PM

by Jonas Terrado

2021 FIBA 3X3 Montreal WT – Prep – Zach Huang vs Mac Tallo

Manila Chooks TM is embracing the underdog tag when it competes in the FIBA 3×3 World Tour Montreal Masters which starts on Sunday, Sept. 5 at Place des Festivals.

Mark Yee, Mac Tallo, Zach Huang and Dennis Santos are scheduled to face Belgium side Antwerp and Canadian squad Edmonton in Pool D of the team’s first World Tour stint since the Doha Masters earlier this year.

Head trainer Aldin Ayo believes chemistry will be the key for Manila to make up for the insurmountable odds.

“One of the strengths of this team is the chemistry that we have,” Ayo said. “We were able to see them surrender to the system that we are implementing.

“Yung mentality also is there because they know that they are the underdogs. Yung kakulangan sa height, pupunuan nila ng determination yan to win,” he added.

Antwerp. ranked No. 8 in the FIBA 3×3 rankings, is composed of 6-foot-5 Nick Celes, Thibaut Vervoart, 6-foot-6 Thierry Marien and 6-foot-6 Rafael Bogaerts.

Edmonton, meanwhile, will field Alex Johnson, Dutch import Ross Bekkering and debutant Adika Peter-McNeilly, a roster Ayo described as a “technically new team.”

The top two teams in the pool will advance to the playoffs.

Manila split its two games during the Doha tilt, with Huang, Tallo and Santos teaming up with veteran Chico Lanete.

They were supposed to participate in a Challenger event in Croatia last May, but pulled out at the last minute after failing to secure their travel visas.