AS Manila Chooks TM prepares to leave for Doha today, the country’s top 3×3 players got a huge morale boost from Filipino sports icon Sen. Manny Pacquiao.
Joshua Munzon, Alvin Pasaol, Troy Rike and Santi Santillan can only welcome the words of encouragement from boxing’s only eight-division world champion from General Santos City.
“Ipaglaban niyo ang ating bansa. Dalhin niyo ang karangalan sa ating bansa. Proud kami at nakasuporta kami sa inyo,” said Pacquiao during the send-off with the players Friday in his Makati Forbes Park mansion.
The rechristened Chooks-to-Go Pilipinas team for FIBA 3×3 tournaments will go against the world’s best in the tough Doha Masters of the FIBA 3×3 World Tour on Friday.
The two-day tournament features defending champion Liga and last year’s losing finalist Riga.
“Nagpapasalamat kami sa inyo, Sen. Pacquiao, for your support,” said Bounty Agro Ventures, Inc. president and 3×3 patron Ronald
“Malaking bagay ito sa ating players, yung motivation na binigay ninyo,” he added.
Munzon and company are headed to the Middle East country oozing with much confidence, having conquered all challengers in the recently-concluded Chooks-to-Go Pilipinas 3×3 President’s Cup powered by TM in Calamba, Laguna.
Returning to the site of happy memories, the Filipinos stole the show on Day 1 of last year’s Doha Masters with a major reversal of Liman before losing a tough quarterfinals duel with Riga.
In a recent interview with FIBA3x3.com, Munzon is confident his team can perform even better as they continue their build up for next year’s Olympic qualifiers.
“We know it will be much tougher than what we experienced in the Philippines but it’s a great opportunity for us,” the 6-foot-4 Munzon said.
“We have the conditioning now, so we think that could be an advantage. We are undersized but can make up for that by displaying toughness and work rate,” he added.