FIBA 3X3 World Cup Dream Team (version 4): Small but terrible

Filipinos love basketball perhaps more than any other country in the world. Unfortunately, basketball is a game that has inherent advantages for tall people – and Filipinos are definitely generally not tall.

For this week’s “dream” line-up, I decided to embrace our identity as a short nation by coming up with a 3×3 roster full of players below 5’10. With the prevalence of “small ball” in the international basketball scene today, why not double down and take it to the extreme?

L.A. Tenorio (5’8, Barangay Ginebra San Miguel)

Tenorio is the most experienced player in this line-up. He has over a decade’s worth of PBA experience and has also had several stints with the Gilas Pilipinas national team. The Ginebra point guard can also hit from the outside and is one of the best playmakers in the country.

This team will definitely need his leadership to overcome the odds they will face in the tournament. As the MVP of the 2012 William Jones Cup and a member of the 2013 Gilas team that placed second in the 2013 FIBA Asia Championships, Tenorio surely knows what it takes to win in the biggest stage as underdogs.

Roi Sumang (5’8, Blackwater Elite)

After a rocky start to his PBA career with Globalport, Shej Roi R. Sumang has blossomed into one of the most potent scorers in the league with Blackwater.

Sumang has a daredevil attitude to his play that will definitely help when playing against taller opponents. He has underrated handles that allow him to breakdown any defender, and he is also a creative finisher with great body control that he uses once he gets to the rim. The former UE Red Warrior also has a streaky outside shot that is as dangerous as they come when he’s waxing hot.

Jio Jalalon (5’9, Magnolia Hotshots)

The tallest player on this list, by default at least. While he is more than capable of scoring when needed, Jio Jalalon will be this team’s designated defensive pest, similar to his role with Gilas Pilipinas. If “The Cyclone” can put the pressure on in full court games, just imagine how much chaos he can create in a halfcourt setting?

L.A. Revilla (5’8, Phoenix Fuel Masters)

While he may not be the most athletic or most talented player, L.A. Revilla more than makes up for it with his heart and steady play. The diminutive point guard knows his strengths and weaknesses and plays accordingly. He never tries to do too much, but he also always gives it his all.

Revilla is a player who can do a little bit of everything and never backs down from any challenge. In a team such as this, those traits are invaluable.