While basketball remains one of the top sports for Philippine sporting audiences, they have long been exposed to and enjoy watching variations to the game. One notable variant is 3×3, or half-court three-on-three basketball. A study sponsored by the International Olympic Committee argues that this is the largest urban team sport worldwide. Originally played with loose rules, organized 3×3 basketball 2 with standard rules took off in the late 2000s. It finally made its Olympic debut in Tokyo this past July 2021. The Philippines already has a pro 3×3 league sponsored by Chooks-to-Go, but national league the PBA has been working on its own edition that will launch this weekend.
GMA News reports that the Philippine Basketball Association is set to inaugurate its 3×3 basketball league this coming Saturday, November 20. For its first tournament, the 3×3 tilt will divide the teams into three pools, with placement for knockout depending on wins, head-to-head record, points scored and initial seeding. The initial 13 teams are composed of 10 spinoffs from the official PBA teams (though a few have altered their names), plus three guest squads. Each team will have six players, ensuring a substitute for each man active on the half-court.
Of the three team groupings, Pool A will have five squads while Pools B and C will have four. The teams are classified as thus:
- Limitless Appmasters (Phoenix LPG)
- Platinum Karaoke (guest squad)
- Purefoods TJ Titans (Magnolia)
- TNT Tropang Giga
- Zamboanga Valientes (guest squad from Chooks-to-Go Pilipinas 3×3)
- Barangay Ginebra
- Meralco Bolts
- Sista Super Sealers (Rain or Shine)
- Terrafirma Dyip
- CAVITEX Braves (NLEX Road Warriors)
- NorthPort Batang Pier
- Pioneer Pro Tibay (guest squad)
- San Miguel Beermen
It goes without saying that the debut of the PBA 3×3 basketball tournament was fraught with problems. The original launch season of 2020 never materialized for obvious reasons. Then again, the time lost to the pandemic managed to go into more planning by the league to make their first official 3×3 foray a success. “Basically, we planned this for two years and finally, we’re launching it and hopefully, we can make this a regular event,” says Alaska Aces governor Dickie Bachmann, who is also serving as 3×3 Chairman.
The inaugural PBA 3×3 basketball tournament will start at 2PM Saturday at the Ynares Sports Arena in Pasig. The first three games will be between Zamboanga Valientes and Platinum Karaoke, followed by Barangay Ginebra against Sista Super Sealers, and finally CAVITEX versus Pioneer Pro Tibay.
Image courtesy of PBA.ph