THE road to the 2020 Tokyo Olympics begins here as national team backer Chooks-to-Go unveiled its grand plan in staging the biggest 3x3 basketball league in the country, all in hopes of making it to the quadrennial games.
Twelve teams will take part in the inaugural conference of the Chooks-to-Go Pilipinas 3x3, with multi-titled mentor Eric Altamirano serving as its commissioner.
"We are very excited with this 3x3 league backed by Chooks-to-Go," he said. "Out of this 3x3 league, dito manggagaling yung team that will represent the country in the World Tour and hopefully, in the Olympics," he said.
Clubs from Maharlika Pilipinas Basketball League (MPBL) have signified their intentions to join the joust, namely Manila Stars, Go for Gold-San Juan Knights, Bataan Risers, Bacoor Strikers, Valenzuela Classic, Marikina Shoemasters, and Bulacan Kuyas.
Also part of the competition are the Zark's Burger-backed Quezon City, the Dondon Hontiveros-owned Cebu, and teams from Davao Occidental and Pasig.
Altamirano hopes that through Chooks-to-Go Pilipinas 3x3, the Philippines can accumulate the much-needed points to be able to send a team in Tokyo come 2020.
"Though the point system of FIBA is complicated, it all starts by having a league. And then, when we have a league, we can now join the World Tour which comprises of 40 events. That's where all the points come from," he explained.
There will be six legs in the tournament, all to be played in a round robin format with a champion set to be crowned at the end of each leg.
But in the sixth and final leg, teams will be ranked based on their accumulated points, with the top four owning an automatic seed and the remaining squads battling in a knockout tournament. The champion team will come home with the P1 million cash prize.
The preseason games will start on January 14, to be held at Ynares Sports Arena in Pasig.