|Even if they were drawn to a tough group, the Risers assured that they will do a gallant stand in the Super Quest. Chooks-To-Go Pilipinas (file photo)|
By Dugout Philippines
MANILA--Though failing in their first attempt to secure a ticket to the 2019 FIBA 3X3 World Tour Masters Doha, the 1Bataan Risers still have a shot at making it to the biggest club tourney series in the world.
After finishing as runners-up in the Chooks-to-Go Pilipinas 3x3 President's Cup, the Risers picked up one of the two slots for the world's first-ever Super Quest tournament, the Asia Pacific Super Quest.
"Sobrang tuwa din namin dahil kasama pa rin kami sa Super Quest," said Alvin Pasaol, the country's fourth-ranked 3x3 player.
However, 1Bataan will figure in the tournament's group of death.
To start their campaign on Saturday at the SM Megamall Fashion Hall, the Risers will face Hong Kong's Anytour M1 at 12:40 pm.
After a two-hour break, 1Bataan takes on the 19th best squad in the world 3x3.Exe Premier.
The Hong Kong-based club team in this tournament that will be aired on FIBA 3x3's YouTube channel and on ESPN5 will feature three American players headlined by former Alab Pilipinas import Reggie Okosa.
On the other hand, the Japanese squad will have Japan's top player Tomoya Ochiai and 45th best player in the world, Serbian Petar Perunovic.
With this tall task, Pasaol and Santi Santillan will be joined by two reinforcements.
Serving as a guest player for the Risers is Vigan Baluarte Wolves' Karl Dehesa, who was part of the Philippines' World Championship team back in 2016.
"I'm very excited to be back on this stage and see some familiar faces. The environment is going to be electric. I'm just excited to face the top competition in the region," said Dehesa.
In addition, 6-foot-6 American Travis Franklin was tapped as the team's import.
“It’s different, it’s an open game that sees scorers thrive. But at the end of the day, it’s basketball and I love this game,” shared Franklin, who is a neophyte in the 3x3 game.
Wanting to represent the country in the world stage, Bataan vows that they will not back down against their opponents come the Super Quest.
"Expectation ko lang talaga yung pagiging physical nila. Pero nandito yung pagkakaisa namin. Kami ni Alvin magkakampi kami sa liga, si Kuya Karl naman ang dami niyang experience, tapos si Kuya Travis iniinvolve niya talaga kami," Santillan said.
"Alam ko, papalag kami."
"Siguro dagdag pressure din dahil malalakas ang mga makakalaban namin sa Super Quest, pero kakayanin namin kasi nirerepresent namin ang Pilipinas," Pasaol added.
"Laban pa rin kami."
The champion of the Chooks-to-Go 3x3 Asia Pacific Super Quest will book their ticket to both the FIBA 3X3 World Tour Masters Doha from April 18-19 and the Challengers series in Penang from May 12-13 while bringing home USD 20,000.
The runners-up will also head to the Doha tournament while pocketing USD 15,000.
The third and fourth place finishers will qualify for the Challengers series in Kunshan from May 18-19 with the former also banking USD 7,000 while the latter being rewarded with USD 4,000 for their effort.
The fifth to eighth-placed teams will be given USD 1,000 as consolation.
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