ABU DHABI ˗ Cameroonian big man Mike Nzeusseu has been ruled out of Manila Chooks TM after the team held its last training before the 2021 FIBA 3×3 World Tour Abu Dhabi Masters at the Kasr Al Amwaj Thursday here.
Nzeusseu is yet to fully recover after he suffered a minor left hand fracture last Oct. 20 during Manila’s semis game against Cebu in the Chooks-to-Go Pilipinas 3×3 Invitational.
The country’s No. 3 3×3 player Mark Yee has been activated to replace Nzeusseu, according to coach Aldin Ayo. Completing Manila Chooks are no. 1 Mac Tallo, no. 2 Zach Huang, and no. 16 Chico Lanete.
“Of course, Mike is a big loss for our team but it’s the situation dealt to us,” said Ayo. “But Mark is ready since he has been training with us along with Dennis (Santos), Jayvee (Marcelino), and (Ralph) Tansingco.
“So today, we gave one last run-through of our system since this is the first time Mac, Chico, Zach, and Mark will be playing together,” he continued.
In the Doha Masters last March, Tallo, Lanete, Huang, and Santos went 0-2 in the qualifying draw.
Six months later, Tallo, Huang, Santos, and Yee finished 11th in the Montreal Masters.
The task remained tough for Manila Chooks as it will face world No. 4 Liman of Serbia and no. 5 Amsterdam Talent&Pro of the Netherlands in Pool D. The Philippine-side will hit the halfcourt against Liman on Friday at 10:20 p.m.(Manila time) before facing Amsterdam at 2:45AM (October 30 in Manila).
The top two teams in the group will advance to the knockout playoffs in the maximum level tournament.