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    Hosts Pasig, Balanga, Isabela face tough task in Manila 3x3 Challenger

    Aug 16, 2019

    TOP Filipino clubs Pasig, Balanga, and Isabela will have the unenviable task of representing the country in the Chooks-to-Go Manila Challenger from September 7 to 8 at the SM Fairview Events Center.

    The trio got the nod to be the country's representative as they aim to qualify for the 2019 Fiba 3x3 Jeddah Masters in October.

    This tournament will also serve as part of the Philippines' last-ditch push to earn a ticket to the Olympic Qualifying Tournament before the October 31 cutoff.

    The Philippines is currently ranked 27th in the men's rankings with 6,748,080 points.

    President's Cup champion Pasig is easily the most experienced of the bunch, having finished fifth in the Doha Masters back in April.

    "For the past year, we've been traveling a lot. Though it's not an excuse, having to travel is very tiring in itself. This time around, we could play our game," said Pasig's Dylan Ababou.

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    Balanga finished runner-up in the Asia Pacific Super Quest while Isabela was crowned as the champions of the Patriots' Cup.

    "For me, this tournament has been a long time coming for our country," said Balanga's Karl Dehesa. "The fans will definitely give us a huge boost."

    But the three home teams are expected to have their hands full with European teams making the voyage.

    World No. 2 Riga Ghetto of Latvia lead the list together with No. 5 Amsterdam of Netherlands, No. 10 Gagarin of Russia, No. 15 Kranj of Slovenia, and No. 20 Humpolec Bernard of Czech Republic.

    Riga Ghetto is no stranger to Filipino foes. The Latvian club were stunned by Balanga, 19-17, during the pool play of the Doha Masters, but owns the number of Pasig, scoring the 21-15 win in the quarterfinals in Doha before a 21-17 squeaker in pool play of the Moscow Challenger.

    Gagarin also topped Isabela City Chooks, 21-13, in the group stages of the Haining Challenger, while Kranj humbled Pasig Chooks, 22-11, in pool play at the Poitiers Challenger.

    Continue reading below ↓

    Also set to see action is world No. 25 Ulaanbaatar, who previously took part in the Asia Pacific Super Quest.

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