MANILA, Philippines -- (UPDATE) Veteran campaigner Ricci Rivero will lead the way for the Philippines when it competes in the FIBA 3x3 Asia Cup, which runs from May 22-26 in Changsha, China.
Rivero, who has represented the Philippines in several 3x3 tournaments, will team up with high school stars RJ Abarrientos and Rhayyan Amsali, and Far Eastern University big man Barkley Ebona.
The Philippines will have to go through a qualifying draw, where they will play Qatar, Iran, Samoa, and Thailand in order to advance to pool play.
Coaching the team is Ronnie Magsanoc.
Meanwhile, the women's team will be represented by Jack Animam, Afril Bernardino, Clare Castro, and Janine Pontejos.
The Filipinas will also have to go through a qualifying draw, where they play Chinese-Taipei, Vanuatu, and Samoa. Pat Aquino will call the shots for the team.
"We are making a strong push to make our Gilas Pilipinas 3x3 men’s and women’s teams compete at a high level and garner as many points as possible for the federation," Samahang Basketbol ng Pilipinas (SBP) president Al Panlilio said in a statement.
After the success of the Gilas Pilipinas men's team and the Gilas Pilipinas youth, Panlilio stressed the importance of having all Gilas Pilipinas programs – including the 3x3 teams – reach great heights in regional and global events.
Meanwhile, Rivero and Pontejos have been included in the list of Players to Watch in the tournament.
Rivero, who is set to play for University of the Philippines in the upcoming UAAP season, was tabbed as "a star in the making on-and-off the court."
Pontejos, meanwhile, was dubbed as one of the best shooters in the Philippines.
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