Paul Desiderio will be entering a new game on Sunday.
The 25-year-old University of the Philippines product will spearhead a young Talisay EGS team in the 2022 Chooks-to-Go Pilipinas 3×3 Quest 2.0, which takes place on Sunday at Ayala Malls Solenad in Santa Rosa, Laguna.
Desiderio shared that this will be the first time he will actually compete in an organized 3×3 game.
“Actually, first time ko mag-3×3 so wala talaga akong experience,” he said.
“Sabi nila mas pisikal ‘eto sa 5-on-5 and nakikita ko naman ‘yun. Pero kami hindi kami sasali dito para mag-compete lang, gusto naming manalo.”
Desiderio will be joined by young Cebuanos Dyll Roncal and Jerome Napao, along with reinforcement Steve Akomo. The team’s head coach is Jerry Abuyabor.
For Desiderio, he hopes that 3×3 will be the rebirth he has been waiting for.
Last May, the 6’1” scorer suffered an ACL injury. It forced him out of the game.
But with the winner of the Chooks-to-Go Pilipinas 3×3 Quest 2.0 earning a slot in the 2022 FIBA 3×3 World Tour Hong Kong Masters later this month, he saw it as an opportunity to have a crack at representing the country.
The competition, though, will be tough as the eight-team field is headlined by the country’s top two 3×3 teams in Cebu Chooks! and Manila Chooks!.
Still, grateful is Desiderio for this new opportunity as he hopes that he can be part of Chooks-to-Go Pilipinas 3×3’s teams for the next FIBA season.
“Sobrang excited ako siyempre kasi ito ‘yung first time ni Dyll and Jerome na maglaro sa Manila. Sana ma-guide ko sila ng tama,” he said.
“Para sa akin, gusto ko rin patunayan kina Boss Ronald [Mascariñas] na talagang nagpapasalamat ako sa kanila dahil hindi nila ako iniwan. Sana ma-prove ko sa kanila na hindi sila nagkamali.”