MINGLANILLA -- Manok ng Bayan-Samahang Basketbol ng Pilipinas 3x3 checked one of its goals on Saturday as it claimed the mark for the biggest Fiba 3x3-endorsed event for kids at Sisters of Mary School Boystown in Minglanilla, Cebu.
A total of 1,387 young participants signed up in the Fiba 3x3 Play database and simultaneously played ball during the eight-hour event in the first of the two-day ocassion, which was graced by Chooks-to-Go president Ronald Mascarinas, SBP executive director Sonny Barrios and ambassadors Kobe Paras and Thirdy Ravena.
"We at Chooks-to-Go are really elated with the turnout. But this victory is not ours alone. It's the country's achievement," said Mascarinas. "I would like to express my heartfelt gratitude to the SBP and the sisters from SMS for making all of this possible."
The event, headed by SBP's Mark Solano, Ryan Betia, Xander Gubat, Region XIII director Jerry Abuyabor, and SMS athletic director Van Parmis, saw students from SMS-Boystown take part in 3x3 games across the 50 halfcourts inside the Minglanilla campus.
It bested the previous mark of 1,114 registered participants.
"I'll put some religious context to this nung sinabi kong divine intervention, divine providence ito. God works in mysterious ways kasi by accident lang nalaman ng SBP na may ganitong klaseng number of courts. And we're glad that we're making history with these young kids," said Barrios. "It's very overwhelming and heartwarming that we got into this partnership with Chooks-to-Go and the Sisters of Mary nuns para magawa natin ito ng sama-sama."
Leg 4 winners Team B8, composed of Joeffrey Ramiso, Argie Basaya, Dennis Gantaloa, and Alunar Escraman ruled day one of the tournament beating leg 3 leaders Team B27, made up of Jayar Tigle, Junel Mainit, Alexander Respito, and Bretneil Zamoria in the Finals in front of their Aloysian peers.
Other leg winners are Team B32 of John Louie Lechedo, Archie Samonte, John Rey Ichon, and Adrian Cacaldo in leg 1; and Team B46 of John Vincent Valenzona, Jimboy Roxas, Ralph Kendrick Delposo, and Mark Anthony Gidayawan in leg 2.
Remaining on the checklist of Manok ng Bayan-Samahang Basketbol ng Pilipinas 3x3 is taking the honor of being largest Fiba-sanctioned event ever, with the standing mark of 1,898 participants expected to be surpassed on Sunday at the Sisters of Mary School Girlstown in Talisay.
"We are not yet done," said Mascarinas.
The Cebu tilt is also serving as the official kickoff of the Chooks-to-Go Pilipinas 3x3 League, set to open on February 16.