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Chooks 3×3 stars to enter PBA Draft

            The four biggest names in the Chooks-to-Go Pilipinas 3×3 are set to go to the Philippine Basketball Association (PBA).

            Joshua Munzon, Alvin Pasaol, Troy Rike, and Santi Santillan are confirmed to be declaring for the top tier 5-on-5 cagefest’s draft.

            The four are among the six best 3×3 players in the Philippines based on FIBA 3×3 points accumulated with Munzon and Pasaol being the Top 2.

            The four players were part of the national pool for the FIBA 3×3 Olympic Qualifying Tournament.

            They would go on to represent Zamboanga City in the Chooks 3×3 President’s Cup and Manila in the FIBA 3×3 World Tour Doha Masters.

            Chooks-to-Go Pilipinas 3×3 and the Samahang Basketbol ng Pilipinas eventually named Munzon and Pasaol to the final lineup alongside PBA stars CJ Perez and Mo Tautuaa.

            “Thank you Joshua Munzon, Alvin Pasaol, Troy Rike, and Leonard Santillan for making our country proud over the last two years,” Chooks-to-Go Pilipinas 3×3 said in a statement Thursday.

            Munzon, Pasaol, Rike, and Santillan reportedly declared for the PBA Draft to avoid negative implications should they forego for a second straight year.

            “We at Chooks-to-Go Pilipinas 3×3 won’t hinder you from achieving your dreams,” Chooks 3×3 said.

            The six-foot-four Munzon had prior experience playing professional 5-on-5 basketball, suiting up for Saigon and Kuala Lumpur in the Asean Basketball League last decade before staying put in the Philippines for good.

            Rike’s college basketball resume, in which he played for Wake Forest, the alma mater of National Basketball Association legend Tim Duncan and current superstar Chris Paul, could entice the teams to take a look at the six-foot-eight forward.

            On the other hand, Pasaol, a burly six-foot-four winger, is an interesting prospect as he once dropped 47 points for the University of the East, the most by a single player in the University Athletic Association of the Philippines since the ’70s.

            Santillan, a six-foot-five forward, improved his game in the 3×3 ranks, eventually developing a hook shot that could make him a solid inside presence.

NEW LICENSES

            Meanwhile, Games and Amusements Board chairman Baham Mitra said later in the day that Munzon, Pasaol, Rike, and Santillan may need to get new professional athlete licenses should they push through with their draft plans.

            “It’s gonna be a new license,” Mitra said during the Usapang Sports online press conference by the Tabloid Organization in Philippine Sports.

            He earlier reiterated that the pro licenses for 3×3 are different than those of 5-on-5.

            However, with the latest developments in club basketball play, Mitra said that GAB will set up a discussion with the GAB-sanctioned leagues to clarify matters like the licensing and the potential implications in the PBA’s Rookie of the Year race.

            “We will have a dialogue with them. We just want to be the conduit of cooperation between the leagues.”

            In the case of Munzon, he will be renewing his 5-on-5 license.*PNA

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