Manila Chooks TM up against great odds

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    MANILA Chooks TM will have to go through the wringer when it competes in the 2021 FIBA 3×3 World Tour Doha Masters set March 26 to 27 at the Al Gharafa Sports Complex.

    Fielding a team of new faces, Manila Chooks TM, composed of veteran Chico Lanete, scorer Mac Tallo, Zachy Huang, and stretch big Dennis Santos, squares off against Austria’s Graz this Friday at 7:30pm (Manila time), and home team Doha, who they will face on the same day at 8:05.

    Graz is headlined by Austria’s No. 4 player, 6-foot-6 Matthias Linortner, and No. 11 Moritz Lanegger, who is 6-foot-2. Completing the squad are 6-foot-9 Fabricio Vay and 6-foot-7 Filip Krämer.

    Qatar’s 6-foot-5 Babacar Dieng leads the home team together with Faisal Abuissa, 6-foot-7 Abdelrahman Yehia Abdelhaleem, and 6-foot-10 Souley Ndour.

    “Since we lack size since our big men have been affected by the quarantine measures here, we will be utilizing our speed and shooting,” said Lanete, who played for Uling Roasters-Butuan during the 2020 Chooks-to-Go Pilipinas 3×3 President’s Cup. “We are heading into Doha with an underdog mindset.”

    The top team will advance to the tournament proper and join USA’s NY Harlem and Princeton in Pool D. NY and Princeton are no. 4 and 5, respectively, in the world club rankings. Pool games will also be played on March 26.

    The FIBA 3X3 World Tour Doha Masters is a maximum-level (level 11) event. The champion will be awarded $40,000.