For the Philippine National Men’s Basketball Team, the International Federation of Basketball Associations (FIBA) has only elicited bad memories back in 2019, particularly in the Basketball World Cup that year. The qualification stage saw the humiliation of the team losing to Australia by default because of a bench-clearing brawl. Said humiliation became absolute when the Filipino squad lost all games in the World Cup itself to place dead last in 32 participants. For a time it seemed the only opportunity the country could enjoy FIBA again would be when it co-hosts the next World Cup in 2023. But maybe it will not take too long.
That is because FIBA is having the Philippines host one of their competition tours for 3×3 basketball right this year. The Philippine Star reports that the country will become a three-time venue for the FIBA 3×3 World Tour, after hosting rights were again secured from the international governing body of basketball. This Level 10 event for half-court basketball action between teams of three has found itself visiting the Philippines twice before, in the consecutive years of 2014 and 2015. Now, basketball fans will get to see the world’s best 3-on-3 teams representing various world cities.
Ronald Mascariñas, founder and league owner of the Philippines’ first half-court basketball league in Chooks-to-Go Pilipinas 3×3, gave a statement Tuesday, January 21, about having the FIBA 3×3 World Tour having a stop in the country once more. “Last year, 3×3 basketball once again entered the collective consciousness of the Filipino people,” he said, referring to two other locally-hosted international 3×3 tournaments in the Manila Challenger and Super Quest. “We needed to continue that momentum and what better way to do so than hosting a World Tour Masters,” adds Mascariñas.
With the FIBA 3×3 World Tour taking place this May 2 and 3 at the SM Megamall Fashion Hall in Mandaluyong, a national 3×3 basketball squad is to be formed from the top players of Chooks-to-Go Pilipinas 3×3. When the league’s President’s Cup conference begins next month, the best-performing competitors will become the country’s team against global 3×3 powerhouses like the Novi Sad Al-Wahda (Serbian players based in the UAE), New York Harlem and the Riga Ghetto, all of which will be coming to the Philippines for epic 3-on-3 action. It is an official FIBA event the country will host ahead of the Basketball World Cup three years from now, and hopefully it will make FIBA positive with Filipinos again.
Other venues for the 2020 FIBA 3×3 World Tour include Doha in Qatar, Chengdu in China, Mexico City, Utsunomiya in Japan, Los Angeles and more, with the final leg to happen in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia.
Image courtesy of FIBA