In a bid to level with world superpowers, the Samahang Basketbol ng Pilipinas (SBP) will be creating a national training pool for 3×3 basketball.
SBP president Al Panlilio said Filipinos have what it takes to excel in half-court basketball following a successful staging of the FIBA 3×3 World Cup at the Philippine Arena in Bocaue, Bulacan.
With the 3×3 now part of the calendar of activities in the 2020 Tokyo Olympics, Panlilio said it is high time for the country to carve out a clear and separate roadmap for the event from the regular 5-on-5 basketball.
“Now that 3×3 is an Olympic sport, it opens the minds and the thinking of SBP in creating a different roadmap for the 3×3, which is separate from Gilas,” said Panlilio.
Gilas Pilipinas made an impact in world basketball after making it to the FIBA World Championship in 2014. The country is now ranked 30th in the latest FIBA world ranking.
Panlilio said they want to duplicate the Gilas Pilipinas roadmap and apply it to 3×3.
“I think that’s the next thing we should do after this World Cup. How do we bring up the level of 3×3 to the levels of what we see here the past week?”
The Philippines, represented by Philippine Basketball Association (PBA) players in the men’s division, nearly qualified in the next round with a 2-2 win-loss slate including a pair of massive wins over top-ranked Russia and Brazil.
Participating in the women’s division for the first time in history, the unranked Perlas Pilipinas also displayed heart and grit despite dropping four close games.
Perlas bet Janine Pontejos even stole the show after claiming the shootout title against the best 3×3 snipers in the world.
“I think, skills-wise, we’re there. I think what we lack is really the experience that the others have in playing 3×3,” Panlilio added.
With the Tokyo Olympics in the horizon, Panlilio instead sets his sights on the 2024 Summer Games in Los Angeles, especially with the Philippines starting from scratch to develop a legitimate program and pool intended solely for 3×3.
“The first thing we need to do, the SBP has to really create the discipline, across the country,” he said, emphasizing the plan to create a nationwide 3×3 league for FIBA to recognize.
“The next step is for us to create an elite team, maybe one or two teams.”