3×3 an ‘added avenue’ for Pinoys to make comeback in Olympic basketball

June 11, 2017 - 1:21 PM
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Sports5 file

The Samahang Basketbol ng Pilipinas welcomed the inclusion of 3×3 basketball in the 2020 Tokyo Olympics, seeing it as an opportunity for the country to finally send a basketball team in the prestigious event after more than four decades.

“It’s an added avenue for us as we got a chance of finally playing in the Olympic basketball scene, aside from the usual five-on-five event,” SBP executive director Sonny Barrios told InterAksyon.

The Philippine national men’s basketball team last played in the Olympics in 1972.

After that, the closest the Filipinos could get to reaching the quadrennial meet was in 2015 where Gilas Pilipinas fell short of clinching the lone Asian ticket to the 2016 Rio Olympics after bowing to China in the FIBA Asia Championship final.

But it remains to be seen how the Filipinos can qualify for 3×3 basketball in the Olympics. Barrios said FIBA has yet to inform its federation members on the qualifying process for event.

The Philippines has been active in the 3×3 circuit, having hosted and played in numerous FIBA 3×3 events in the past featuring teams bannered by PBA stars Terrence Romeo, Calvin Abueva, Troy Rosario and Vic Manuel, among others.

Later this week, the Filipinos are set to compete in the FIBA 3×3 World Cup as top PBA prospects Kiefer Ravena and Jeron Teng, collegiate standout Kobe Paras and PBA player JR Quinahan carry the country’s colors in France.