Chooks-to-Go Pilipinas was awarded a wild card slot to compete in the 2017 FIBA Asia Champions Cup. The Champions Cup is the club tournament of the FIBA Asia and is currently on its second year. Chooks-to-Go Pilipinas was awarded a wild card slot by FIBA Asia to complete the 10-team field competing this month.
— Chot Reyes (@coachot) September 5, 2017
The roster is currently being finalized but according to a report by Sports 5, Kiefer Ravena, Ray Parks and Christian Standhardinger will be joining the team competing. Kiefer Ravena confirmed his participation with the Chooks-to-Go Pilipinas in a tweet.
The report by Sports 5 also indicated Kobe Paras, Raymar Jose, Jeron Teng and Jett Manuel are also part of the pool of players trying out to make the team. To bolster the team, the Samahang Basketbol ng Pilipinas (SBP) is reportedly looking to tap former Baylor center Isaiah Austin. Based on a report by Inquirer Sports, Austin is a potential candidate for naturalization as the national team looks to get bigger and younger moving forward. The big man stands at 7’1″ big man, who’s only 23 years old.
Austin was diagnosed with Marfan syndrome, a genetic disorder that affects the connective tissues of the body. Because of that diagnosis, he wasn’t cleared to play and lost his shot at the NBA. In a touching moment in the 2014 NBA Draft, Commissioner Adam Silver paused the proceedings and announced Austin as a special draft pick by the NBA.
In 2016, Austin was cleared to play and went overseas. He signed on with KK FMP Beograd in Serbia where he averaged nearly 8 points and four rebounds per game in 12 games in the KSL. He played slightly better in the Adriatic League where he averaged 9 points, 3 rebounds and one block per game in nine games. Austin then moved on to China where he’s signed on to the Guangxi Rhinos, a second division league in the NBL China. Austin is set to arrive in Manila on Tuesday.
Joining Austin to reinforce the Chooks-to-Go Pilipinas will be UP center Bright Akhuetie. Akhuetie is currently serving his residency with the Fighting Maroons after transferring from the UPHSD Altas.
Chooks-to-Go Pilipinas will be playing in Group A of the Champions Cup. They will be up against BC Astana from Kazakhstan, Mono Vampire from Thailand, Petrochimi from Iran and Serrayet Ramallah of Palestine. The FIBA Champions Cup will start on September 22 and will be held in Chenzhou China.
Photo from AP