As Manila West and Manila North take on stiffer competition in the quarterfinals of the FIBA 3×3 World Tour Manila Masters Sunday, the squads are expected rely on its outside sniping and ability to set up open long range shots.
Champion coach and National University mentor Eric Altamirano handles the Manila-based teams, and said the dribble-penetration is what’s helping the hometown bets, especially Manila West which is bannered by spitfire Terrence Romeo.
“Yun talaga ang strength ng team. Malalaki ang kalaban so that is the only way you can counter that,” Altamirano talked about speed. “They really could not stop Terrence (Romeo) then KG (Canaleta) and Aldrech (Ramos) took care of the boards.”
Romeo added the penetration should be complemented by pristine shooting from beyond the arc especially in the stage of the competition where they are pitted against taller squads.
“Hindi uubra ang penetration lang, kailangan mag-connect ang mga tira namin sa labas. Kailangan namin mag-adjust. Hopefully sa susunod na games mag-connect,” Romeo, the no. 1-ranked Philippine 3×3 player, shared.
“Kailangan rin ng composure. Hindi ka pwede mag-panic kapag humahabol na ang kalaban. Kailangan andon pa rin ang teamwork niyo at focus.”
Manila West takes on Longshi from China as they try to move closer to defending the Manila Masters crown and a spot at the World Tour final in Abu Dhabi.
Manila North eyes better finish
Team Manila North meanwhile tries to improve on its quarterfinal finish last year. With new weapons this year, the team headed by Calvin Abueva went 2-0 in the eliminations.
“Si Karl (Dehesa) at Troy (Rosario) nakakatulong yung dalawa sa amin. Wala kaming shooting dati at penetration. Puro kasi kami big,” Abueva quipped of the team’s composition, which also has Vic Manuel.
Rosario, the youngest among the members, also takes the opportunity as a “learning experience” as he prepares his transition from the amateurs to the pro ranks.
“Parang ganito rin kapisikal sa PBA. Nire-ready ko lang ang katawan ko. Marami pa talaga akong kailangan i-improve,” he said.
Manila North battles Kobe of Japan in its own quarterfinal pairing.