Huge blow for Steel's 3x3 squad as Johnson not cleared for Haining Challenger

Franky Johnson will miss out the Haining Challenger due to visa concerns. Chooks-To-Go Pilipinas (file photo)
By Dugout Philippines

MANILA--Bad news came to the Isabela City Chooks' (Phenom-Basilan Steel) way, Friday evening.

The squad's lead gunner Franky Johnson will not be around in their Hongxiang Holdings Haining Challenger campaign on Saturday.

Johnson's visa did not arrive on time.

What is left for Isabela City are Roosevelt Adams, guest player Gab Banal, and import Marcus Hammonds.

Earlier in the week, Isabela City was also notified that Troy Rike could not play with them as well as he is registered with Pasig Chooks in the FIBA 3x3 circuit.

Though the mountain to climb just got higher for Isabela City, Hammonds said that they are ready for the challenge that lies ahead.

"We are up to it. If that's what it has to be, then that's what it has to be. We need to double our efforts since we have to go through a lot of games in China," he said.

Isabela City will have to top Qualifying Draw A to advance to the main draw's Pool C. They will face Mongolian clubs Sukhbaatar at 9:00 a.m. and Taikhar at 10:40 a.m.

On the other hand, Balanga Chooks, composed of Alvin Pasaol, Karl Dehesa, Chris De Chavez, and Travis Franklin, will take on world no. 2 Liman (2:30 p.m.) and no. 30 Sosnovy Bor (4:15 p.m.) in Main Draw A.

"Siyempre, gustong-gusto namin makabawi after nung talo namin sa Moscow," said Pasaol as Balanga could not advance in the Moscow Challenger's main draw last month. "Mas maganda chemistry ng team namin ngayon dahil matagal na kami magkakasama."

Follow the site on Twitter: @DugoutPH