MANILA -- The Philippine Basketball Association (PBA) has set up a 3x3 tournament that will run concurrent with the upcoming All-Filipino Cup, with 14 teams expected to take part.
All 12 PBA franchises will have their own 3x3 squad, along with Mighty Bond and Dunkin Donut.
"As far as team composition is concerned, everybody is welcome," said PBA Board vice-chairman Bobby Rosales of Columbian Dyip. "There will be no age restrictions."
Each team will feature four players, with two foreigners allowed to play. The teams will be divided into two groups of seven squads each, with 42 elimination games and 14 playoff games to be played.
"The rules to be applied will be FIBA rules, and we intend to put up a pot money, which has yet to be determined, for the winning teams," said Rosales. "(The 3x3 games) will be played before or in between (5-on-5) games."
This development was welcomed by Meralco team governor Al Panlilio, who is also the president of the Samahang Basketbol ng Pilipinas (SBP).
The creation of a 3x3 league by the PBA is expected to boost the nation's ranking, which is a major factor in Olympic qualification.
"It is exciting from a 3x3 point of view," said Panlilio. "We are ranked No. 19 now in the world, as far as 3x3 rankings are concerned. We are going to the Olympic Qualifying Tournament in March."
"We are creating a program where we can make it to the next Olympics in Paris (in 2024). It's a different track, and an exciting one at that," he added.
Meanwhile, PBA Commissioner Willie Marcial is also exploring the possibility of holding a 3x3 tournament for women.
"Pag-aaralan namin ito," he said. "Gusto ko magkaroon din ng 3x3 sa babae."
"More 3x3, the better para sa Pilipinas," Marcial added.
The Philippines ruled the inaugural 3x3 competition in the 30th Southeast Asian Games, with both the men's and women's teams securing the gold medal.
In March, a team composed of CJ Perez, Moala Tautuaa, Joshua Munzon, and Alvin Pasaol will compete in the Olympic Qualifying Tournament in India, where the top 3 teams gain tickets to the Tokyo Games.
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