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3x3 Basketball

SMB’s Bacon Austria recalls time he was part of 3×3 NT


Bacon Austria finds himself back in the halfcourt game eight years later – a time when the emerging discipline was starting to gain ground globally.

This, as the second-generation cager will play for San Miguel in the inaugural PBA 3×3 season that starts next week at the Ynares Sports Arena in Pasig.

2021-PBA-3x3-Media-Day-San-Miguel-Bacon-Austria SMB's Bacon Austria recalls time he was part of 3x3 NT 3x3 Basketball News PBA 3X3  - philippine sports news

Photo by PBA Images

“Nakalaro na ako before … Pero ang tagal na nun. Siguro ayun lang ‘yung mashe-share ko na experience,” he said in the league’s Media Day, Saturday.

The Ateneo de Manila University product could still remember that stint like it was yesterday. He was part of the Philippine team that competed in the first-ever FIBA Asia 3×3 Championship in Doha, Qatar way back in 2013.

That squad also had Kevin Ferrer, Robby Celiz, and Gio Ciriacruz. All of them were members of Blackwater Sports, who would rule the PBA D-League Foundation Cup a month later. Pat Aquino was their head coach.

“Before they sent PBA players or pro players, they were sending amateur players at that time,” Austria recalled.

The Nationals showed much promise early in that showpiece, finishing the preliminaries with a 2-1 record. However, they bowed out after absorbing a 10-15 defeat in the hands of Jordan in the knockout quarterfinals.

“‘Yung four players na naglaro sa 3×3, played also for the 5-on-5 team ata nila,” shared Austria as that team had a young Ahmad Al Dwairi, who’s part of the Jordan team that played in the King Abdullah Cup last July.

“For me it was a good experience, though ayun na yung last time ko na naglaro ng 3×3. Pero maganda dahil sa Qatar and umabot kami ng quarterfinals.”

Such an experience definitely makes the former PBA player a fitting leader of the Beermen in the forthcoming tournament. Although he embraces the role, Austria said it’s not just him who has a voice in the team.

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San Miguel 3×3 also has fourth-year guard-forward Louie Vigil, former La Salle stalwart James Mangahas, and rookie Jeff Manday.

“Sabi nga ni Coach Boycie [Zamar] na ako ‘yung isa sa mga leader. Actually, we made sure na everyone has a voice sa team namin,” said the third-round pick in the 2012 draft.

“Everyone, same kami ng parts dito. Pantay-pantay kami.”

Eyes will be on SMB if it could carry its winning ways onto the three-a-side. Austria is well aware of that, so he and his teammates vow that they’d all try to do the best they can in the highly-anticipated cage wars.

“If you’re bringing the name San Miguel, parating may expectation. Pero kami we’re taking it one day at a time, one practice at a time. We’ll see. Kasi bago kami lahat sa 3×3, technically. Asahan niyong lalaban kami parati.”

Written By

Oftentimes on the sidelines. Forever a student of the game. Morayta-bred.

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