Echoing the sentiments first shared by Bounty Agro Ventures owner and national team financial backer Ronald Mascariñas, Samahang Basketbol ng Pilipinas (SBP) president Al Panlilio bared the importance of strengthening the country’s 3×3 basketball program in time for the 2020 Summer Olympics in Tokyo.
Seeing the struggles of Team Pilipinas firsthand in international competition, Panlilio bared SBP’s intent to help more Filipino athletes be more familiar with the rules and regulations of 3×3 basketball—which is currently being heavily promoted and structured by sports governing body FIBA.
“We might get to the Olympics via 3×3 first before 5×5,” he said. “Qualifying is different as there is a point system that determines rankings. Grassroots or local 3×3 tournaments will be key. If we register all, I don’t see why we can’t crack the top 20.”
The SBP executive also stressed upon finding other untapped talents for the program, as to not deplete the PBA’s stable of players even more.
“We elevate to top 10 by joining international tournaments. We’ll see if we can develop teams separate from the PBA. As it is, the PBA is already sacrificing so much to support the Gilas program,” Panlilio explained.
SBP opened its bid for a full-time 3X3 men’s basketball team by naming high-flyer Kobe Paras as the cornerstone of the squad last August. More names are expected to included in the team later this year, as the inaugural staging of the Chooks-To-Go Pilipinas 3×3 basketball league President’s Cup takes place on Saturday, February 16, at SM Megamall’s Activity Center.