By JONAS TERRADO
Games Friday (Doha, Qatar)
7:30 p.m. ‒ Manila vs Graz
8:05 p.m. ‒ Manila vs Doha
Manila Chooks TM looks to defy the odds and secure a spot in the main stage of the FIBA 3×3 World Tour Doha Masters when it takes on Graz and host Doha in the qualifying draw slated tonight.
Parading a new-look lineup, Manila is aiming to beat both clubs and advance to Pool D of the Doha Masters alongside American sides NY Harlem and Princeton despite its underdog status.
Veteran Chico Lanete, Mac Tallo, Zach Huang and Dennis Santos compose the new Manila lineup with Joshua Munzon, Alvin Pasaol, Santi Santillan and Troy Rike, who played in last year’s Doha Masters, already in the PBA.
Lanete, Tallo, Huang and Santos will have a tough task at hand, first against the Austrian side Graz at 7:30 p.m. Manila time.
Graz is powered by 6-foot-6 Matthias Linorter, 6-foot-2 Moritz Lanegger, 6-foot-9 Fabricio Vay and 6-foot-7 Filip Kramer.
Manila is slated to return to the court at 8:05 p.m. opposite Doha, which has 6-foot-5 Babacar Dieng, Faisal Abuissa, 6-foot-7 Abdelrahman Yehia Abdelhaleem, and 6-foot-10 Souley Ndour.
The team arrived earlier in the week and was able to train at an outdoor court after clearing all health and safety protocols that included a short quarantine period.