During the three-day annual planning session of the PBA’s Board of Governors, one of the main agendas was to lay the foundation for the league’s own 3×3 program. And one of the key points was the pool for the upcoming 2020 FIBA 3X3 Olympic Qualifying Tournament.
Thursday evening (Manila time) at the Stars Hotel in Milan, Italy, Samahang Basketbol ng Pilipinas president and Meralco governor Al Panlilio revealed that the federation has formed a “selection committee”.
The five-man group that will select the final four players that will compete in the global meet which takes place from March 18-22 in Bangalore, India are Chooks-to-Go Pilipinas 3×3 league commissioner Eric Altamirano; SBP executive director Sonny Barrios; SBP coaches commission head Jong Uichico; Gilas women’s program director Patrick Aquino; and Ronnie Magsanoc.
The PBA also loaned four of its players to the Gilas Pilipinas 3×3 pool, increasing the number of players to 14.
“I would like to also announce that the PBA board has agreed to add four players to the pool and it’s the four names that won the SEA Games gold — Jason Perkins, Mo Tautuaa, Chris Newsome, and CJ Perez,” said Panlilio.
FIBA 3×3 rules, however, state that the national team can only plug two players outside of the top 10 in the country.
Currently in the top 10 are Joshua Munzon (no. 1), Alvin Pasaol (2), Dylan Ababou (3), Karl Dehesa (4), Santi Santillan (5), Chris De Chavez (7), Gab Banal (10), Leo De Vera (11), Ryan Monteclaro (12), and Jaypee Belencion (15) — all players from Chooks-to-Go Pilipinas 3×3.
The CTG-PH 3×3 players have been training for the tournament since December. Perkins, Tautuaa, Newsome, and Perez have yet to attend a session that is headed by Altamirano, and Serbian coaches Stefan Stojacic and Darko Krsman.
The Philippines is slotted in Pool C, together with Slovenia, France, Qatar, and the Dominican Republic for the OQT.