Due to lack of available players, the Samahang Basketbol ng Pilipinas (SBP) pulled out its entry in the 3×3 basketball competition of the 18th Asian Games in Jakarta.
SBP executive director Sonny Barrios made the confirmation, saying that the busy schedule of both the University Athletic Association of the Philippines (UAAP) and the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) left them with no choice but to withdraw.
Based on the tournament guidelines, the event is open for young cagers with age ranging form 18 to 23 years old, leaving the federation with no choice but to pluck players from the collegiate ranks.
NCAA is set to start on July 7 while the opening of the UAAP is tentatively scheduled around the first week of September, which is in direct collision with the Asian Games from Aug. 18 to Sept 2.
“We will not field an entry,” said Barrios in a curt message to Tribune.
The 3×3 is one of the world’s fastest-growing events.
It will be played in the Asian Games for the first time and will make its debut in the Tokyo Olympics in 2020.
The Philippines has a handsome chance to land a medal after an impressive run in the recent FIBA 3×3 World Cup where the quartet of Troy Rosario, Roger Pogoy, Stanley Pringle and Christian Standhardinger brushed off a last-minute preparation to post massive wins over Brazil and Russia.
In that tourney, Kyrgyzstan, Japan, Indonesia, Mongolia and Jordan were the only Asian teams.
The Mongolians, however, stole the thunder when they unleashed a late-game rally to tally a 19-17 victory over Gilas Pilipinas in the group stage before falling prey to champion Serbia in the quarterfinals.
“Mongolia played together. It is a smart team,” said Pringle, referring to the rugged Mongolians who ruled the FIBA 3×3 Asian Cup in 2017 before succumbing to Australia early this year.
“But other than that, I feel that we can beat them. We matched with them perfectly.”