Belo ready for ‘strong, tall’ foes in 3×3 World Championship
For Mac Belo, he’s just overwhelmed by the opportunity to don the national colors anew as he leads the Philippine delegation in the 2016 Fiba 3×3 World Championship.
“Blessed ako na ire-represent ko na naman yung country,” he said.
The former Far Eastern University Tamaraw will banner the Filipinos in Guangzhou, China from Oct. 11-15, and will be joined by longtime teammate Russel Escoto and pros Karl Dehesa and Rey Guevarra.
Adapting to the differing rules between 3×3 and the usual five-on-five basketball is seen as the biggest hump for Belo and company, but he said the team has been training diligently since last week, with Dehesa, a 3×3 veteran in his own right, teaching the ropes to the newbies.
“Nire-remind lang kami ni Karl sa rules ng 3×3. Yun ang ineensayo namin. Iba yung game kasi iba talaga yung rules,” said Belo, a member of Gilas Pilipinas which competed in the 2016 Fiba Asia Challenge in Iran last month.
He also acknowledged the Philippines is coming to the contest as underdogs.
“Dito, malaki yung challenge kasi world siya kaya malakas ang mga kalaban namin. Matatangkad sila. Grabe yung physicality at yun ang kailangan namin mapaghandaan,” he said.
But make no mistake, the Philippines will be going to China armed with pride and motivation to make waves in the 3×3 scene.
“Basta gagawin lang namin yung best namin. Sana maganda ang ma-perform namin doon,” he said.
The Filipinos are slotted in Pool C, where they will compete against European contenders Spain, Poland, Romania, and Hungary in the group stages./rga