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A combined pro-amateur selection will banner the Philippines’ bid in the FIBA 3×3 World Championship on Oct. 11-15 in Guangzhou, China.
Comprising the Philippine team are Rey Guevarra of Meralco, Karl Dehesa of Globalport, and Gilas 5.0 stalwarts Mark Belo and Russel Escoto, both products of Far Eastern University.
The Philippines is bracketed in the Men’s Pool C with Poland, Romania, Spain and Hungary.
“We are upbeat with the opportunity to play in the 2016 FIBA 3×3 World Championship, the equivalent of 5×5’s FIBA World Cup,” said SBP executive director Sonny Barrios.
“We have made great strides at the 3×3 game since we started playing at the FIBA International level in 2013, when Kobe Paras even won the slam dunk contest in Singapore.”
Barrios added that the 3×3 format has helped Filipino players further sharpen their overall playing skills.
“This is clearly evident even with the PBA players who got exposed to 3×3 at the global level, from Terrence Romeo and Calvin Abueva to Vic Manuel, Troy Rosario and Karl Dehesa, etc.,” the SBP official said. “Their 5×5 game in the pro league obviously benefited from such 3×3 international exposure.”
In Pool A are silver medalist Serbia, No. 3 Russia, Italy, defending champion Qatar and New Zealand. Pool B has Slovenia, Uruguay, Andorra, Indonesia and Egypt. Pool D features the United, States, the Netherlands, Japan, Turkey and host China.
Teams from each group play one round robin. The top two advance to the knockout quarterfinal stage with the winners moving to the crossover semifinals and eventually the final.
The FIBA 3×3 Federation Ranking was used as basis to determine the participating FIBA member associations. China as hosts automatically qualifies in both men’s and women’s tournaments, while the Qatar and the United States, winners of the 2014 edition in the men’s and women’s tournaments, respectively, are also seeded.
The pools for the tournaments were unveiled last Sept. 20. The Philippine team departs for China on Oct. 9.