Fiba Asia stint at stake for PBA D-League 3-on-3 winnerBy Celest R. Flores
MANILA, Philippines—A chance to don the country’s colors in the Fiba Asia competition this May is the ultimate prize for the champion of the PBA D-League 3-on-3 tournament, which kicked off on Monday.
The league teamed up with the Samahang Basketball ng Pilipinas (SBP) in launching this format of competition, which Commissioner Chito Salud thinks is fit for the Filipinos.
“Sa mga barangay naman, 3-on-3 at 2-on-2 ang gagaling ng Pilipino dyan. So were trying to develop that, in cooperation with the SBP,” Salud told INQUIRER.net on Monday.
Salud, though, had long planned for the PBA D-League to have this type of competition, and it was just a coincidence that Fiba Asia is having a 3-on-3 tournament this May.
“One time, I was just home watching TV and I saw clips of 3-on-3 competition abroad, and I thought it’s about time that we have this tournament,” said Salud. “Yung hindi na galing sa PBA [yung players] kasi professionals na yang mga yan eh.”
“They [SBP] said, kung sino nalang mag-champion dyan sila narin ipapadala natin sa Doha, Qatar,” Salud added.
But since the competition slated on May 15-16 coincides with the elimination round of the PBA D-League Foundation Cup, teams might have problems sending away their players.
“Kung in contention pa yung team [na mananalo] tapos ayaw nila, mamili nalang tayo ng iba,” said Salud. “That’s up to them [teams].
Earlier, Hog’s Breath, composed of Michael Lima, Jeff Morillo, Kevin Rabalo and Paul Alguno, edged Informatics, which had Eric Acuña, Mark Montuano, Jayson Ibay and Cedric Ablaza, in overtime, 14-13.
A basket from inside the arch, which is worth a point, from Lima in overtime (one minute) gave the Razorbacks the win.
Meanwhile, Cebuana Lhuillier led by Alvin Padilla, Gerard Bautista, Gian Chiu and Gab Banal defeated Kevin Alasa, Jake Pascual, Eric Camson and Garvo Lanete of NLEX, 11-10.
The other representatives are as follows: Jeff Viernes, Lucas Tagarda, Ken Acibar and Ezer Rosopa for Boracay Rum; Mark Bringas, Adrian Celada, Eliud Poligrates and Chris Eximiniano for Cagayan; Anjo Caram, Carlo Lastimosa, Jan Colina and Martin Antonio for Fruitas; Marvin Hayes, Jul Ashri Ignacio, Dennis Santos and Marlon Gomez for Jumbo Plastic; Mar Villahermosa, Mac Montilla, Mark Canlas and Terrence Romeo for Big Chill; Clark Bautista, Raymond Almazan, Jimbo Aquino and Ian Sangalang for EA Regen Med; Alfred Batino, Ryan Gallardo, Mike Parala, Alvin Abundo for Cafe France; Kevin Ferrer, Gio Ciriacruz, Robby Celiz and Bacon Austria for Blackwater.