ASIDE from winning the grand prize, Family’s Brand Sardines-Zamboanga City was very thankful and grateful that the Chooks-to-Go Pilipinas 3×3 President’s Cup powered by TM ended COVID-19 free at the INSPIRE Sports Academy in Calamba.
All the 185-strong delegation at the bubble inside the National University-Laguna campus were tested negative for coronavirus, as the now-pro 3×3 league hopes to become a template for the other sports tournaments to start their competitions by practicing health protocols.
“We made history dahil zero positive tayo. Walang nagkasakit. It’s a good sign para by end of the year or by December, makabalik tayo, makapaglaro tayo at makapag-tournament ulit,” said Zamboanga City’s Alvin Pasaol.
Joshua Munzon, the country’s top 3×3 player, praised everybody involved in putting up the safety and security protocols inside the “Calambubble”, as health standards were upheld from the moment they entered until the final day of the league sanctioned by the Games and Amusements Board.
“I think it was a big accomplishment for us being here for two weeks that everybody stayed COVID-free. Everybody who had in hand in putting us together, definitely it was a big accomplishment for us to be COVID-free and had a successful tournament,” said Munzon.
After undergoing RT-PCR testing two weeks ago, all the members of the delegation had to go through antigen testing right before getting inside the NU-Laguna’s state-of-the-art new campus. Prior to leaving the bubble, another test was conducted.
Social distancing was strictly observed, wearing face masks and shields were a must inside the bubble, and there were random COVID-19 tests for the players.
With Chooks-to-Go Pilipinas 3×3’s main goal to restart sports having accomplished, commissioner Eric Altamirano was very satisfied the way the five-legged tournament turned out and its success will inspire other leagues halted by the coronavirus pandemic to be able to begin soon.
“To all the people that involved in the league, in the organization, whether you like it or not, you are part of history. Pag-uusapan natin yung mga nangyari ngayon. And I’m so proud to be part of this league and the people that I worked with,” said Altamirano.
“Sa mga team owners na sumali, maraming salamat sa inyo. You believed in us and you joined us even though there were a lot of fears going into this pandemic. It has been excellent and enjoyable experience for us. Ang dami naming natutunan,” he added.
Zamboanga City won four out of five legs, including last Friday’s 22-19 win over injury-hit Nueva Ecija for the P1-million grand prize.
Despite going down with three players, the Rice Vanguards valiantly finished second in the Grand Finals while the Pasig Sta. Lucia Realtors captured third place.
Uling Roasters Butuan City averted a sweep of Zamboanga City by ruling the third leg. Butuan City, which lost to Nueva Ecija in last Friday’s testy semifinals duel, settled for fourth place in the finale.