Strict rules inside the ‘Chooks’ bubble

THE Chooks-to-Go Pilipinas 3x3 basketball league, which was recently granted pro status by the Games and Amusement Board, will implement strict testings, player eligibility and life inside the "bubble" at the INSPIRE Sports Academy inside the National University-Laguna campus in Calamba.

Commissioner Eric Altamirano immediately buckled down to work, as he recently met with the team owners that will play in the pandemic-delayed 2020 season of the league also endorsed by FIBA.

"We had to be very thorough and detailed during the meeting with the team owners since we can't leave no stone unturned especially with the pandemic still on-going," said Altamirano.

The 12-team league is plotting for a mid-September opening.

The Chooks-to-Go Pilipinas 3x3 basketball league was supposed to begin with the President's Cup last March 29, but the COVID-19 pandemic has resulted to the indefinite suspension of the tournament.

The team representatives were satisfied with the outcome of the meeting, saying that the strict measures that have been recommended by GAB, the Department of Health and the Inter-Agency Task Force on Emerging Infectious Diseases (IATF) are strictly followed.

"The players' safety was greatly emphasized earlier. We can't wait to get back to work since this is really for them," said Nueva Ecija team manager Jai Reyes.

Also present were San Juan-Go for Gold team governor Chris Conwi, Sta. Lucia sports head Buddy Encarnado, Nueva Ecija team official Mike Baldos, Porac-Big Boss Cement's Ryan Monteclaro, Zamboanga-Family's Brand Sardines' Tonette Roque, Mindoro's Justin Tan and Teytey Teodoro, and Sulu's Marvin Forniza.

Dr. Butch Ong of UP Science and Society Program discussed the health protocols while a representative from GET Philippines tackled the contract tracing application the players, staff, and team officials will use.

One thing Altamirano guaranteed is that there will be a lot of player movements compared to last season.

"We will definitely see a lot of new faces while our the players from our previous powerhouse teams like Pasig and Basilan will see their players move to new squads. This season will see more balance, I believe," said Altamirano.