BOCAUE, Bulacan – Seeing the country’s strong potential in the event, Gilas Pilipinas stalwart Troy Rosario urged stakeholders to pencil a concrete program for 3×3 basketball.
Rosario yesterday said Filipino basketball players have what it takes to stand out in this discipline and asked the Samahang Basketbol sa Pilipinas (SBP) to form a national pool where players to be deployed to various competitions around the world will be drawn.
He noted that 3×3 is now part of the calendar of the Summer Games in Tokyo in 2020, and this could be the Filipino basketball players’ golden ticket to return to the Olympics.
“I think we need to come up with a pool that is similar to the Gilas program in a regular basketball competition,” said Rosario after their campaign in the FIBA 3×3 World Cup at the Philippine Arena here.
“Regardless of who’s playing, it’s been our dream to make it to the Olympics. Maybe this is our chance,” he said.
Rosario and teammates Christian Standhardinger, Stanley Pringle and Roger Pogoy showed Filipinos can hold their ground against the best players in the world in a half-court game.
They entered the match as heavy underdogs, but still managed to pull off a stunning performance against Brazil before their lack of experience doomed their chances against powerhouse Mongolia and Canada.
Gilas Pilipinas wrapped up its campaign with a massive upset of third-seed Russia.
“It’s good to experience playing against the rest of the world,” said Rosario, who saw action in the previous Southeast Asian Games and plays for Talk ‘N Text in the Philippine Basketball Association (PBA).
“I think we need exposures like this, so that in the next 3×3 tournament, we already have an idea on the kind of competition we will be facing. It was a good run. Unfortunately, we didn’t make the next round.”
“But I hope this would be the start. We have good potential. All we need to do is train and get exposed,” he said.