MANILA, Philippines -- After the Gilas Pilipinas Men's 3x3 team got their well-deserved rest after their outstanding performance in the 2022 FIBA 3x3 Asia Cup, they were welcomed back by Samahang Basketbol ng Pilipinas (SBP) president Al Panlilio with cash bonuses for the players and team staff.
The team composed of Almond Vosotros, Joseph Eriobu, Lervin Flores, and Samboy De Leon finished fourth in the tournament, behind Australia, New Zealand, and China.
They scored a thrilling come-from-behind win against top-seed and 2019 FIBA 3x3 Asia Cup silver medalist Mongolia in the quarterfinals where Vosotros hit a game-winning two-point shot.
"We're very proud of their accomplishment and that's why we saw it fit to give them incentives," said Panlilio. "Representing the Philippines in different international basketball competitions always entails sacrifice for the team members. The SBP wanted to show our appreciation to the squad because they represented us well."
Led by coach Lester Del Rosario, who was aided by SBP 3x3 Program Director Ronnie Magsanoc, PBA 3x3 Tournament Director Joey Guanio, PBA 3x3 Chairman Dickie Bachmann, and PBA Commissioner Willie Marcial, the performance of the team is proof that the partnership between the SBP and the PBA is headed in the right direction.
"This fourth-place finish proves that we've learned from the challenges we met in the past. Because of the unwavering support of the PBA 3x3 community, we were able to form a team that was competitive against Asia's best," added Panlilio. "This will inspire us to work even harder as the next goal will be to reclaim the gold medal in the Southeast Asian Games."
Commissioner Marcial also stated that the PBA will do everything it can to help the federation gain more points for a possible run at the 2024 Paris Olympics.
"Kami sa PBA, tuluy-tuloy lang ang suporta sa SBP dito sa 3x3. Nakikita natin na dumarami 'yung fans na nakasubaybay at nabibigyan din 'yung mga players and coaches natin ng opportunities," Marcial said. "Tutuloy na tayo sa Third Conference ng PBA 3x3 para hindi masayang 'yung momentum na nakuha natin mula sa FIBA 3x3 Asia Cup."
"The performance of our Gilas Pilipinas Men 3x3 would not have been possible without the buy-in from the community," said Panlilio. "And the SBP is hopeful to get the same level of commitment in all levels of basketball: men, women, 3x3, and youth to give our teams the best possible support."