The Manila Chooks TM will have to go through the eye of the needle when they take court in the 2021 FIBA 3X3 World Tour Doha Masters from March 26 to 27 at the Al Gharafa Sports Complex in Qatar.
A brand-new team composed of Cebuanos Macmac Tallo and Zachy Huang along with veteran guard Chico Lañete and athletic big man Dennis Santos, Manila Chooks TM will face off against Austria's Graz and home team Doha on Friday evening.
Graz will be led by Austria's no. 4-ranked player 6-foot-6 Matthias Linortner and no. 11 Moritz Lanegger, who is 6-foot-2. Completing the squad are unranked players 6-foot-9 Fabricio Vay and 6-foot-7 Filip Krämer.
Qatar's no. 14 player 6-foot-5 Babacar Dieng leads the home team together with no. 11 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," relayed Lanete, who played for Uling Roasters-Butuan during the 2020 Chooks-to-Go Pilipinas 3x3 President's Cup. "We are heading into Doha with an underdog mindset."
The top team will advance to the tournament proper and will 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 US$ 40,000 (JNP)