ROME – The Philippine Basketball Association and the Samahang Basketbol ng Pilipinas have firmed up their partnership, with the decision of the pro league to launch a 3×3 event in an effort to help the national cage federation boost a bid to make the Olympics.
“If not Tokyo (in July), maybe 2024 in Paris,” said SBP president Al Panlilio, also a PBA governor representing the Meralco Bolts team.
The PBA 3×3 kicks off in March, but the event details are still up in the air pending the appointment of a tournament director.
“Through the recommendation of the vice chair (Bobby Rosales of Columbian Dyip), we decided to make it a stand-alone program, something like the D-League. It will be run by an executive director under the supervision of the PBA commissioner,” said PBA chair Ricky Vargas at the end of their planning session in Rosa Grand Milano over in Milan Friday.
“Our involvement in 3×3 reassured the SBP president that the PBA is all-out to support the SBP. We’ve been doing that at least in the last four years,” Vargas added.
Rosales said their 3×3 program would underscore PBA being inclusive. He also noted more opportunities for Filipino basketball players.
The event will feature teams from all 12 PBA franchises plus the possible participation of non-PBA entities.
PBA commissioner Willie Marcial said Mighty Sports and Dunkin Donuts have expressed great intention to join.
For the coming Olympic qualifier for the Tokyo Olympics, the PBA board agreed to lend SEAG gold-medal winners CJ Perez, Chris Newsome, Moala Tautuaa and Jason Perkins to reinforce the current pool of coach Ronnie Magsanoc.
The SBP selection committee, composed of Sonny Barrios, Eric Altamirano, Butch Antonio, Jong Uichico and Magsanoc, can tap two from the new pool additions to team up with two high-ranking Filipino 3×3 players to compose the final four-man roster.
The initial plan is to open the PBA 3×3 to all players not in the active list of PBA teams, regardless of age. A proposal to elevate 3×3 players to the PBA without going through the D-League was thumbed down.