BOCAUE – Samahang Basketbol ng Pilipinas (SBP) president Al Panlilio bared that formulating plans to create a different roadmap for 3×3 basketball will be the group’s top priority once the ongoing FIBA 3×3 World Cup wraps up.
Speaking to the media after the Philippines’ close 19-20 loss against Canada, Panlilio revealed that FIBA 3×3 managing director Alex Sanchez was encouraging the group to put the game on the top of their to-do list since the country has a huge chance to be included among the top performing countries.
“The next thing we should do after the World Cup is [look at] how [to] bring up the level of 3×3 to the levels of what you see here today. And I think skills-wise, we’re there. I think what we lack is really the experience that the others have in playing 3×3. Ibang-iba talaga ‘yung laro, very different,” Panlilio said.
Although there aren’t any concrete plans yet, the SBP president said that a separate program from the Gilas five-on-five team should be installed.
The reason for doing so is that 3×3 basketball has now become an Olympic sport, and creating a program solely focusing on it could boost the country’s chances of bagging a medal.
“(The FIBA 3×3 World Cup) opens the minds and thinking of SBP on really creating a different roadmap for the 3×3, separate from Gilas,” Panlilio said. “It’s a commitment now for SBP to take a look at how we can create a roadmap to the Olympics. If not for 2020 in Tokyo, since it’s a short run away, maybe for the next Olympics 2024.”
The first step to laying the groundwork on hiking 3×3 play is to raise rankings. 3x3Planet, an app by FIBA available on app stores, is a formal way of improving the country’s numbers in individual and federation slates.
“Marami namang nangyayari na tatluhan eh, na basketball three-on-three. We need to register those games with the FIBA… we have 25 million Filipinos in Metro Manila alone playing three-on-three every weekend. We just have to register that. If we do that, our ranking will go higher even,” Panlilio explained.
Next should be creating an elite team, of course. The best countries have dedicated teams that only play 3×3, and the president says that they could look at creating careers out of the sport – much like how players like Dusun Bulut, Serbia’s #1 player from 2012-2017, have thrived off of it.
“I think that’s something SBP will be thinking about and we’ll be looking at how to grow the grassroots but at the same time have a dedicated team for the elite team to compete globally almost every month,” he said.
For Panlilio, rigorous planning is key to shorten the learning curve and the experience deficit that the Philippine teams currently have.
In the 3×3 World Cup, the women’s team failed to grab a win but made things competitive in Pool D behind Janine Pontejos’ exploits. The men’s team, on the other hand, showed that experience still trumps talent after narrowly missing out on a spot in the quarterfinals.
“Obviously they wanted to win, especially in front of the Filipino crowd. Alam naman natin that they can compete. It’s really just the small errors and experience that we lack,” Panlilio said.
“In fact Christian [Standhardinger] was saying, ‘Boss Al, if we just had one tournament to practice in just before the World Cup and really address those experience issues, it would have been a big help.’ But we are learning as we go by,” he added.