Chooks-to-Go Pilipinas 3x3 commissioner Eric Altamirano thanked the Games and Amusements Board (GAB) for giving his league the professional status it deserves.
In a virtual press conference on Wednesday night, the Chooks 3x3 league announced that it has just turned pro.
"I’d like to thank the Games and Amusements Board headed by Chairman Baham Mitra for allowing our sports organization, Chooks-to-Go Pilipinas 3x3 to become a professional league. You know, this will provide our local players the opportunity to explore possibilities as a professional career in the 3x3," Altamirano said.
The multi-titled coach added that the latest development to the league is a testament to how this basketball variation has evolved locally and even internationally over the years.
The Chooks 3x3 cagefest was founded last year for the sole purpose of compiling needed FIBA 3x3 points for the Philippines to qualify at least for the FIBA 3x3 Olympic Qualifying Tournament (OQT).
After a full season consisting of four conferences, the Philippine hosting of the first-ever FIBA 3x3 Super Quest and the FIBA 3x3 Manila Challenger, and numerous appearances of local clubs in the international 3x3 circuit, Gilas Pilipinas 3x3 booked a spot in the OQT slated next year in Austria.
"It only shows that Filipinos can excel in this league, considering that we are short," Altamirano added.
With his league now a pro, Altamirano hopes that this development will pave the way for more hardcourt heroes to carve a career in basketball.
Meanwhile, one glaring observation from the inaugural staging of Chooks 3x3 is that most of the players also suit up in the 5-on-5 Maharlika Pilipinas Basketball League (MPBL).
Some MPBL teams, like reigning champions San Juan Knights, Bataan Risers, and Mindoro Tamaraws, even sent representatives to Chooks 3x3.
Even national team member Alvin Pasaol also sees action in the MPBL for Zamboanga.
Now that Chooks 3x3 is officially pro, this could create a dilemma on whether MPBL players can still join the 3x3 cagefest considering that the MPBL is not yet GAB-sanctioned.
Mitra clarified that the Chooks 3x3 players can still join the MPBL provided that they get a clearance from their mother clubs.*AFP
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