Alaska's Abueva eyed to lead top PH Team
MANILA, Philippines - Versatile Alaska Milk player Calvin Abueva is being eyed to lead the elite Philippine team to be fielded in the 2014 FIBA 3x3 World Tour Manila Masters set July 19-20 at the SM Megamall Activity Center in Mandaluyong.
Samahang Basketbol ng Pilipinas executive director Sonny Barrios said they’re actually hoping to get the nod of the PBA for pro or D-League players to compose two of the four Phl teams allowed to compete in the Asia-Pacific qualifier for the 3x3 World Tour Final in Japan in October.
“The two other teams are our national 3-on-3 champion and our 3-on-3 youth team that had made the world championship. Hopefully, we can have PBA or D-League players to make the two other teams we’re allowed to field as the host country,” said Barrios.
“PBA commissioner Chito Salud said it’s okay with him since they’re already on a break then. But he said it’s better if we talk to the players and then the players’ mother ball clubs,” Barrios also said.
Abueva is a top choice for his strong physique and versatility that could be a big advantage in 3-on-3 matches. Others who could be good picks are Arwind Santos, Joe Devance, Joseph Yeo, Sol Mercado, Cyrus Baguio, Marcio Lassiter, Ronald Tubid, Cliff Hodge, Chris Elis and Kelly Williams.
There was no mention of the Gilas pool members, who should be in the thick of their preparation for the FIBA World Cup by that time.
Qatar, winner of the most recent world 3x3 championship, leads the 12-team Manila Masters field that include two teams from Indonesia and one each from India, New Zealand, Japan, Chinese Taipei and Lebanon.
Manila is the kickoff leg of the 3x3 World Tour that will also have stops in Beijing in Aug. 2-3, Chicago in Aug. 15-16, Prague Aug. 23-24, Lausanne Aug. 29-30, Rio de Janeiro Sept. 27-28 and finally the World Tour Finale in Tokyo Oct. 11-12.
“When (FIBA secretary general) Patrick Baumann asked us in February if we could host the Asia-Pacific leg of this event, we readily accepted as we value our relationship with FIBA,” said SBP president Manny V. Pangilinan during the launch of the event at the SM Megamall Atrium yesterday.
“It’s something we should not miss coming on the heels of our successful hosting of the 2013 FIBA Asia Championship. It’s a very important element to promote basketball grassroots development,” Pangilinan also said.
Qatar is among the heavy favorites as it is fielding an elite cast, the same team that ruled the last World Championship in Moscow. Two members of the Qatar 3-on-3 team are part of their regular national team.
The 12 teams will be divided into four pools of three teams playing in a round-robin. The top two from each pool advance to the knockout round. The top two qualify for the FIBA 3x3 World Tour Final.
The main event will be spiced up by the dunk contest and the Samsung Shootout.